There’s a very good reason Arsene Wenger should be smiling about Real Sociedad’s 4-3 defeat last night and it comes in the form of French winger Antoine Griezmann.
The defeat means Sociedad now sit 6th on the La Liga table having seen their chances of securing Champions League football next season virtually vanish, along with their chances of hanging onto the 23-year-old.
The side are nine points behind Athletic Bilbao in fourth place and that’s bad news for their hope of hanging onto a player with an amazing record for them this season; 15 goals and four assist in the league.
Arsenal’s interest in Griezmann is very real and Arsene Wenger is a clear admirer of someone he could bring in to fill a problematic left midfield position for the side.
The Gunners failed with a £12 million bid to land the player last January and Wenger himself has confirmed his interested in signing the midfielder, which suggests that a second offer is on the cards this summer.
Griezmann may not want to leave Real Sociedad but he may have to if he wants to continue playing in the Champions League.
It would take a miracle for the Gunners to slip out of the top four by the final game of the Premier League season, which suggests they have a trump card in the race to sign him ahead of Manchester United, another reportedly interested party who are unlikely to enjoy the Champions League next season.
Griezmann is a hungry and very ambitious young man with a blossoming career in European domestic football and international football with France.
A move to Arsenal would not just represent a chance for him to continue playing in the Champions League, it would enhance his chances of playing for France over an extended period of time because he’d be performing at a higher level.
The circumstances could be set up perfectly for the club to secure someone Wenger has admitted they’ve been following for a ‘long time’.