Both Julian Draxler and Antoine Griezmann head the list for Arsenal’s wide-man spot. Who is the better option, and subsequently, who should Arsenal go all out for? There is no doubt that both boost fantastic potential. Both are young and exciting, and remain the hottest talents currently in the market. However, when it comes down to it, it all depends on who is the better fit for Arsenal, and who offers exactly what Arsenal have been missing.
Let’s start with Draxler, the Schalke wonder kid, touted as the next big thing in German football, which in itself cannot be overlooked. Twenty years old, fits with the German revelation taking place at Arsenal, and displaying bags of prospect for the biggest stage; he ticks every single one of Wenger’s little transfer box. Well, almost: with talent comes a hefty price tag. It’s been widely reported that Schalke are holding out for 40 million, and for a twenty year old still learning and developing it’s understandable as to why Arsenal are reluctant to splash. And don’t forget 40 million is what Arsenal rated Suarez at; a player of ridiculous talent, not mention at the very top of his game. Draxler is nowhere near the Suarez bracket yet. It’s not as easy (easy in football terms) as chucking down 40 million for someone like Ozil; he’d been doing it for years, already claiming the world class status in his spell at Real Madrid. Pursuing an expensive investment, such as Draxler, demands more caution. It’s easy to say, if Arsenal want him then they should just pay the asking price, bite the bullet, and hope it all works out. I’ve even said that myself, although, born from desperation and frustration more than anything else. So, what does he bring? Is he worth the price tag?
When I see Draxler, I see Chamberlain. For me, they’re similar in playing styles; powerful, tricky dribblers, who love to be direct and run at opposition. And having a Chamberlain on each side, well, who wouldn’t want that? It’s no secret that Draxler is destined for top, his name’s been going hovering around since he was 16/17, and is subsequently when Arsenal’s interest arose, and has grown ever since. Arsenal wanted him in January. They did as much as they thought they could, but ultimately the move fizzled out, and fans were left wanting. The season may have rewarded more had the move gone through; he could have been that extra spark and drive lacking in the team. The frequent interest from Arsenal, and other giants, such as Bayern, suggests this is a player worth busting a gut for. And there’s no doubt that he’d slot right into this Arsenal team, having already flirted with the possibility of joining.
Antoine Griezmann may just be the perfect signing for Arsenal. Similar to Draxler, he ticks all the boxes, whilst also offering a different, but even more effective playing style. The 23-year-old French international has taking La Liga by storm this year, boosting a very impressive 16 goals and 3-assist return this season; the sort of statistics a certain Theo Walcott produces. You can already see why the Arsenal interest is there. This is a player worth every penny. This is player Arsenal having been crying out for. A natural goal-scoring winger. The sort of player to mirror Walcott on the left, or even replace him in the event of an inevitable injury. Griezmann loves to hang on the shoulder of the last man, and he’s electric. Once he’s found that yard: he’s gone. Just like Theo, once he’s on his bike, there’s no catching him. And the fact that he has the maturity to capitalise on this pace, shown by his goal return, then you really start to have a player on your hands. At the age of 23, where Wenger himself has said: this is the age you start to see a player come into his own, a statement supported by the development of both Nasri and Walcott. The prospect of Griezmann alongside Walcott in the Arsenal team is mouth-watering.
So, Draxler or Griezmann? The Draxler interest is solid, as is the player’s interest in Arsenal. There’s common ground there already. And let’s face it, Arsenal need every help they can get when it comes to the transfer market. He’s powerful and direct, with the possibility of developing into a top striker – if Wenger is to be believed. No problems there. He’s sure to become world class, but can Arsenal afford to wait? Probably not. If he arrives, he needs to hit the ground running. And that’s a lot to ask for a twenty year old. Chamberlain is evidence of this. He still has ups and downs. And on top of the price tag, Draxler’s injury record this season is a tad worrying; given the extreme injury exposure Arsenal have year in year out.
On the other hand, Griezmann is cheaper, arguably less in demand, and offers more of what Arsenal desperately need. He has the stats and quality required for Arsenal football club. He’s more matured than Draxler. And he’s playing in a stronger league. He’s the Walcott compliment, and he’s the Walcott cover. An Arsenal team without Walcott is a hampered, whimpering Arsenal team. Griezmann can be the answer to a lot of problems Arsenal seem to face every year. He could also free Theo for the striker spot. That’s a lot of pace…
I’d be very pleased with Draxler coming in the summer, but if there’s a choice, it’s Griezmann that gets my vote.
Would you rather sign Draxler or Griezmann? Comment below | Photo via Michael Kranewitter