Highly rated Real Sociedad winger Antoine Griezmann has put Europe's top clubs on alert by suggesting he could leave the Spanish side to boost his chances of making the French national team.
The youngster has been one of the success stories in La Liga over the last 18 months and despite the Basque club sitting pretty in a healthy sixth place, it's clear that the player sees his future elsewhere.
According to RMC (h/t Metro), Griezmann commented:
I am relaxed about my future at the moment.
I have not had talks other clubs yet. This is something to look at.
I want to play for a leading European team and I hope this can help me get a place in the France team.
Arsene Wenger clearly sees something in the player. He has scored 12 goals in 17 La Liga appearances already this season and is also on the radar of Manchester United, Juventus, Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona, according to Charles Perrin of the Daily Express.
La Liga Top Scorers : 1. Cristiano Ronaldo 21 | 2. Diego Costa 19 | 3-4. Antoine Griezmann, Uche Ikechukwu 12 | 5. Pedro Rodriguez 11— riskiyanto (@riskiyanto_07) January 21, 2014
Griezmann has enjoyed a fruitful and exciting partnership with ex-Arsenal favourite Carlos Vela, but you wouldn't pigeon-hole the Frenchman as a typical wide man in perhaps the same way you would Theo Walcott for example.
Equally comfortable in any of the three attacking positions, Griezmann is adept at beating his man, or shooting on sight, as this video proves:
He has pace to burn, but unusually for a wide man, crossing is probably the weaker part of his game (per whoscored.com). Hence, he regularly switches inside, which sees Vela drag the central defenders out of position and allows Griezmann to get the shot off.
At just 22 years of age, Griezmann already has close to 120 La Liga appearances under his belt as well as a (ultimately unsuccessful) Champions League campaign.
His best years remain ahead of him, and he is certainly a player to excite the Gunners faithful.
On a recent scouting mission, Chris Winterburn was another to note the quality he could bring to the Emirates:
In terms of how far Griezmann can go in football, the sky really is the limit for this boy.
He has the technical ability combined with pure speed which makes him a nightmare for any defending full back.
Griezmann’s eye for goal is also impressive as it allows him to contribute to the goalscoring charts from a wide position which is a necessity for a title winning team who are looking to avoid an over reliance on their main centre forward.
The player's versatility would see him slot seamlessly into the Arsenal front line, but recent reports suggest that Arsene Wenger has already turned his attentions elsewhere.
At this juncture, it appears unlikely he will now command a double-your-money bid of £24 million for a player who is already cup-tied.
Right player. Wrong time.