Long-term Arsenal target Antoine Griezmann is believed to be the subject of a £25m bid from their north London neighbours Tottenham, who regard the Real Sociedad man as an heir to Gareth Bale’s dustsheet-covered throne.
Few fans know transfer frustration quite like loyal Gooners and to see the man dubbed Le Petit Diable tearing it up at White Hart Lane would stick right in their craw.
But this looks an eventuality the side rated 6/1 to win the Premier League title can no longer prevent and they only have themselves to blame.
Arsene Wenger had the opportunity to re-sign Carlos Vela, the real superstar of Erreala’s 2013/14 campaign, for as little as £2.5m earlier this summer, but decided against bringing the Mexican back to the Emirates.
Here’s how the 25-year-old stood up to Griezmann in numbers last term:
As this graphic demonstrates, Vela was clearly more valuable to his team than in-demand Griezmann, whose game appears much more one-dimensional.
Furthermore, his superior successful dribbles-per-appearance statistic suggests he’d do better as part of an Arsenal front three, as Wenger demands creativity and dribbling prowess, as well as an ability to convert chances, from all of his wide men as a prerequisite.
These figures, in tandem with the bargain-bin price they had agreed with the Spaniards, indicate that signing Vela should’ve been a no-brainer and, had they done so, Real Sociedad wouldn’t have been in a position to relinquish Griezmann.
Spurs are likely to be the benefactors of Arsenal’s refusal and adding the 23-year-old’s goals to a relatively consistent defence and Mauricio Pochettino’s vibrant, energetic style will see them mount a much stronger challenge to finish in the top four this season, possibly at the expense of the Gunners.
The Lilywhites are available to back at 3/1 to finish in the top four at present, but this price will appreciate in value should they snare the sought-after San Sebastian star.