Name: Antoine Griezmann
Club: Real Sociedad
International Caps: 5
Position: Left Attacking Midfield
For disciplinary issues, Antoine Griezmann had to wait a frustrating period before finally bursting onto the international scene for France. Having only made his France debut three months back in a classy 2-0 victory over the Netherlands, Griezmann has now very much arrived.
The 23-year-old is known to be a target for a number of clubs, but none are more keen than Arsenal to snap up his signature. Arsene Wenger, working as a pundit for French television, is in the prime position to cast his eye over Griezmann’s performances for the national side, and he’s been impressed with what he’s seen so far.
In France’s 2-0 win over Honduras, Griezmann started off on the left, but he vacated his position regularly, looking to the pick ball up in pockets of space inside, also allowing for Patrice Evra to rampage up the field. Called into the French starting line-up to fill the boots of the absentee star man Franck Ribery, Griezmann excelled. He confidently addressed the ball in the opposition’s final third, completing an impressive 91 per cent of his passes and deceptively winning all of his aerial challenges.
This aerial prowess he possesses will be no shock to Real Sociedad fans who have the joy of watching him perform for them week-in week-out. Griezmann’s three international goals in his five appearances are no shock, having racked up 20 goals in 49 games last season in Spain. The diminutive winger has a knack for turning up in the right place at the right time, heading in at the back post.
It’s not just his heading ability which makes him stand out either. Due to his fleet-footedness and great control on the ball, Griezmann causes endless problems for his opposition full-back. His willingness to carry the ball inside the channels, and make runs off the back of his marker, makes him a direct threat on goal running in behind the back line. His competence with both feet allow him to go either way, making him a wholly unpredictable foe.
Wenger gushed over Griezmann’s World Cup debut, impressed by his effectiveness and efficiency in possession. The Arsenal manager may be on the lookout for a naturally left-sided attacker sooner than he thought, with Santi Cazorla’s future up in the air. Antoine Griezmann would seem the man likely to fill that gap. He’s fast, direct, technically accomplished, and scores countless goals. He is a must for Wenger.