It looks like the "French Connection" is at it again for Arsenal, if the latest rumours are to be believed.
The Daily Star's Nick Lustig reports the Gunners are very interested in bringing highly rated youngster Antoine Griezmann to the Emirates this summer in a blockbuster deal.
Arsene Wenger told Telefoot the following, via Lustig:
Yes, we follow him in great detail.
That should not come as a surprise because he attracts other clubs as well.
But we follow him, he is a known commodity
Blessed with incredible athleticism and an impressive understanding of the game, Griezmann is a mismatch out on the wing for almost any defender in world football.
His dribbling skills are as good as you'd expect from a top winger playing in La Liga, but Griezmann doesn't waste too much time toying with opponents: He's always looking at and playing toward the goal.
The Mirror's Ted Knutson compares Griezmann to a former Arsenal great:
Is Griezmann the modern day Bobby Pires? Huge work on the defensive side for a forward, gets into great shooting positions, scores buckets— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) March 2, 2014
Griezmann should be flattered by that compliment but only just. There's a reason he is considered one of the finest talents in all of Europe.
While some fans have expressed concern over the team buying another winger when there would appear to be other, more pressing needs, passing on a mercurial talent like Griezmann would be a mistake.
Fans were saying the same things when the Gunners bought Mesut Ozil, and that criticism quickly faded once the German midfielder put together a string of fine performances.
Griezmann doesn't have the same track record as Ozil, but he has the potential to be just as good. He was instrumental in Sociedad's La Liga run last season and scored this stunner to help his team gain access to the UEFA Champions League:
This year he's been even better, and at just 22 years of age, chances are he's not even close to reaching his full potential. His inclusion in the French squad as they prepare for the upcoming World Cup was no surprise:
Griezmann inclusion the obvious highlight from this squad. A lot being made about Nasri omission. Not sure why. He's had his time.— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) February 27, 2014
Combined with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or a healthy Theo Walcott, Griezmann would upgrade Arsenal's play out on the wings significantly and help hide some of the issues the team has at the centre-forward position.
Adding quality is never a waste of resources, and while other positions on the squad do need strengthening, the Gunners have always conducted their transfers with an eye on the future.
Should Arsenal sign Griezmann?
Griezmann could be a major part of that future and presents Wenger with a young building block that plays with the right attitude (almost two tackles per game, according to WhoScored) and projects to become one of the top wingers in the game in the near future.
At a reported £25 million, his signing would be a relative bargain compared to what the team shelled out for Ozil in the summer of 2013.
Wenger should do whatever he can to secure Griezmann's signature this summer. Athletic phenoms with a knack for goals and the mentality to defend only come along every so often.