Transformation complete for £25m Arsenal target with 15 goals in 23 games

Antoine Griezmann

Reported Arsenal target Antoine Griezmann has completed a huge turn-around with his call-up to the French national side.

Antoine Griezmann is a left-sided attacker. So is Julian Draxler. But one is doing considerably better than the other in terms of core stats this season.

Griezmann has 15 goals in 23 La Liga appearances. He has also netted three times in seven Copa del Rey matches.

Draxler – the player Arsenal reportedly want above all others – is faring less well, with just one goal in 15 Bundesliga matches, and five in all competitions. He does however have eight assists for the season compared with the five Griezmann has managed.

But why am I comparing the two? Well, quite simply, they are in essence the two sides of Arsene Wenger’s next big decision.

If the reports are to be believed – and there have been a lot of them – Wenger wants Draxler. But more recently he has also said to be keen on Real Sociedad winger Griezmann.

Neither will come cheap – although the Frenchman is likely to cost less than the German with a reported price-tag of £25million – but following the latest claims that the Gunners will battle Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid for Griezmann’s signature, it makes for an interesting analysis.

The Sociedad winger is two years older than Draxler, but he has also undergone something of a transformation in recent times.

A transformation that some would argue is complete following his recent call-up for France’s friendly against Holland next week.

After all, here was a player who was banned from every level of national call-ups for 13 months after he and some teammates reportedly broke a curfew while on duty for France under-21s back in October 2012.

He has since made it clear that he wants a place in his country’s World Cup squad and went about attempting to impress Didier Deschamps by scoring for Sociedad time and time again.

His efforts have now paid off, and if he maintains his current form it would be a considerable surprise if he does not make it on to the plane next summer.

Will he then complete a move away from his current club?

There is every chance given his outstanding form, age and considerable talent. And if he does move on, perhaps it will be the start of yet another transformation; one that Wenger may play a considerable part in.

image: © Carlos RM

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