As Arsenal seek to bolster their attacking options ahead of the new season, the Gunners have been linked with a raid on Spanish La Liga outfit Real Sociedad for two of their brightest talents; Mexican star Carlos Vela and French starlet Antoine Griezmann.
While interest in the former isn’t so heightened, the latter has overtures from quite a number of top European teams. Clubs like Arsenal, PSG and Real Madrid are reportedly set to test Sociedad’s resolve to keep Griezmann.
For Vela, reports of a return to Arsenal has been mooted and it is not a surprise after he had a good season scoring 16 La Liga goals and assisting 10. Arsenal have a buyback clause which means they can get him for a fee far below his current market value.
According to a saying, it takes two to tango but in Vela’s case, it takes three. The readiness of Arsenal to bring him back, the willingness of Sociedad to release him and the willingness of Vela to return to Arsenal. Sociedad don’t really have as much power to keep him but Vela doesn’t seem too keen on Arsenal return. That doesn’t mean Arsenal can’t force him to return to the Emirates.
Should Sociedad lose Vela, there is no guarantee that they would keep Griezmann. While the Mexican has a buyback clause to Arsenal, Griezmann has a release clause which might require a sizeable fee to trigger but that’s pittance considering the financial might of PSG and Real Madrid. What then becomes of Sociedad if they lose their two top scorers in the same window?
It would certainly affect them but they could eat their cake and still have it. By selling Griezmann to Arsenal, they can keep Vela. Doubt if Wenger really wants Vela back after the many bust-ups they had during the Mexican’s last stint at Arsenal. Besides, Wenger tends to respect the wishes of players, he did with Reyes and Mannone.
Why then is he linked with him if he doesn’t want him back? Simple, he wants to use him as the perfect bait to land his teammate Griezmann. Griezmann has a set release clause which Wenger is reluctant to pay so he would want to reduce it. Vela holds the key to achieving this.
Sociedad stand the risk of losing Vela to Arsenal on the cheap as long as the buyback clause is in place and removing it would cost sociedad almost 15million Pounds – I am assuming this is what Vela is currently worth. Arsenal can strike a bargain with Sociedad to buy Griezmann for say 15m and remove the clause in Vela’s contract. This means Arsenal will not have to pay the reported 30m but instead Vela plus say 15m since Vela is worth at least 15m in the current market. A good deal it seems for everyone.
To the choice between Vela and Griezmann, both are goalscoring wingers ( what Arsenal need) but they would bring different attitudes to Arsenal. While Griezmann would come in with enthusiasm, seeing Arsenal as a new adventure, Vela would come in with reluctance and treat his return to Arsenal like a dog back to his vomit because of his past failings at Arsenal and the Premier League. That says it all, Griezmann is the player Arsenal should go for.