Arsenal reported to want £20m French winger – but do they need him?

Arsene Wenger

Griezmann wanted by Europe's top clubs, but would be the wrong player for the Gunners

Arsenal are understood to be readying a £20m bid for French winger Antoine Griezmann, but does Arsene Wenger really need another wide man in his side?

In the second half of the season Wenger will be able to call on the likes of Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Lukas Podolski and Aaron Ramsey can also occupy those positions, and then there is the emergence of 18-year-old Serge Gnabry.

Yet according to reports this week, the Gunners are understood to be keen on Real Sociedad’s quick and athletic winger Griezmann, who is expected to have a big future in the game.

Griezmann certainly has plenty to offer; he is quick, skilful, athletic and can operate on either flank, favouring the left wing but is also happy to cut in on the right side of midfield.

It is easy to see why many of the top clubs in Europe would want the 21-year-old in their ranks, particularly given that he has already tasted Champions League football.

He can score goals too – already he has found the net nine times in 19 appearances for Sociedad this season, having struck 10 goals in 34 appearances during the last campaign.

His goal-scoring record may be one of the reasons that Wenger wants him at Arsenal, as the Gunners have scored very few goals from wide midfield this season, while Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain have each spent most of the season so far on the treatment table.

Similarly, Cazorla, after rattling in 12 goals in 37 appearances last season, has had less of an impact. Indeed it may well be the Spaniard who makes way should Griezmann sign.

But with Walcott, Podolski and Oxlade-Chamberlain having all either returned or being close to returning, goals and assists from wide midfield will be on the increase in the coming months. And that is before you even consider the contribution of Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey.

Would Wenger not be better off focusing on other areas of his team? In particular, a powerful defensive midfielder would add steel to a side with plenty of style. Someone, perhaps, in the mould of Germany international Lars Bender?

Another striker to supplement the goals of Olivier Giroud will also surely be high on his list.

While Griezmann is a promising young player who would make a fine additional to Wenger’s attacking armoury, it is hard to escape the conclusion that he is not what Arsenal need.

image: © Matt and Kim Rudge

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