Arsenal transfer rumors don’t have an off season, so here we are talking about two of the more prevalent rumors in the recent year. On one end, we are considering the possibility of Antoine Griezmann making his way to North London for a fee around £80m.
And on the other side, there is the ever-annoying talk of Alexis Sanchez leaving Arsenal and making his way to reunite with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City or any number of potential landing places that would love to have him.
Of course, in an ideal world, we will just take Griezmann and Alexis and have a front four of Alexis, Ozil, Griezmann and Giroud. But this is not an ideal world, nor are these rumors any more than idle chatter. My only purpose in writing this is to discern whether we would take a straight swap between Griezmann and Alexis.
Obviously the biggest thing we would be losing in Alexis is his work rate. Against Hull City, we saw it loud and clear (heard it loud and clear?). Even when the team is 3-1 up with just a couple minutes left, when Alexis looses the ball, he will get it back or, at the very least, nip at the heels of whoever has the ball until Arsenal does get it back.
Griezmann does not have the same work ethic, though he’s no slouch. The main positives that Griezmann brings are his finishing and chemistry. Griezmann’s ability to link up with international team mate Olivier Giroud has been plain to see and it only gets better. Alexis also benefits from Giroud’s ability to simply be big, but seeing as how the Chilean is now competing for the big man’s spot, the benefit is small.
Griezmann would be able to be the Bergkamp to Giroud’s Henry (pardon that comparison) and feed off of the space that his larger counterpart creates. Or, if he has to slot out wide, that would bring it’s benefits too, as the same style of strategy would apply.
Griezmann also has a slight benefit in the age category, as he is two and half years younger than our Chilean, so he would have more time to give to Arsenal and more time to develop into that striker spot.
It’s a tough call. Their is no easy answer, but if presented right now with the opportunity to take Griezmann or Alexis, I would choose the Frenchman, although I feel dirty saying it, simply because Alexis is so damn awesome.
That being said, the partnership of Griezmann and Giroud is tantalizing and with Ozil working with those two, it gets even better.