The Rumour Mill: Antoine Griezmann to Spurs?

The Rumour Mill: Antoine Griezmann to Spurs?

The future of Real Sociedad and French winger Antoine Griezmann has been reported on the last few days, in the Mirror and in the Telegraph – with one destination in particular: Tottenham Hotspur.

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Whether this is feasible for Spurs is yet to be seen, reports suggest that Griezmann has a release clause of £25m, with Spurs’ current bid for Antoine Griezmann is around £20m.

It has been suggested that Griezmann will be a direct replacement for Gareth Bale, who departed to Real Madrid last summer for a world record fee.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has reportedly identified the left side of this current Spurs side as a particular problem, addressing the left back situation in purchasing Ben Davies – which is set to be announced – and is now testing the resolve of La Liga side Real Sociedad for their prize asset in Antoine Griezmann.

What exactly will Antoine Griezmann offer to Spurs’ left-sided problem?

The left-hand side has been a persistent problem for Spurs throughout the Premier League era, with the exception of David Ginola and Gareth Bale. Former Spurs managers have bought right-footed players and played them on the left-hand side of midfield with mostly no effect. In general, left-footed players have come to Spurs and have left without adding much to the team, the likes of Christian Ziege and Mauricio Taricco were adequate for the Spurs sides of the early 00s, but Benoit Assou-Ekotto, and Danny Rose are Premier League quality, just not for the level that Spurs are aiming for.

Aiming for Antoine Griezmann is showing ambition from the Spurs hierarchy, Griezmann is a player that excites fans when he is on the ball, he likes to cut inside, play neat one-twos, short passes around the area – and similar to Gareth Bale, is is a player that likes to hold on to the ball and attempt long shots on goal.

The French winger primarily plays in the left attacking midfield role – a position where he excelled in last season for Sociedad, scoring 16 goals, adding two assists – averaging 7.36 in the left attacking midfield position for Sociedad, according to WhoScored.com.

Griezmann attempted just 0.7 dribbles per game last season (23 total dribbles), attempting just one key pass per game – but attempted the third most shots in La Liga with 3.2 shots per game (111 total shots) – only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi attempted more shots in La Liga last season.

According to WhoScored.com’s Ben McAleer, Griezmann scored five headed goals in La Liga last season, only three players scored more headed goals in the 2013/2014 campaign than the Real Sociedad winger, and scored two of his 16 La Liga goals from outside of the area.

Spurs could be able to attract this sort of player, but it will be seen as a major coup for the club. Reports suggest his French team-mate and captain Hugo Lloris could be vital in convincing the French winger to trade sunny Spain to White Hart Lane. A midfield trio of Antoine Griezmann, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela is a hipsters dream and will undoubtedly have Spurs fans licking their lips – the trio are youthful, creative and can score goals when given the opportunity.

One problem for Spurs is their nemesis of recent transfer windows, La Liga outfit Real Madrid have just signed Colombian international James Rodriguez from AS Monaco for a reported fee of £63m. With the reported £25m release clause, Monaco will be able to supply the reported fee with ease, double the wages that Spurs are willing to offer, and the draw of Champions League football and battling for the Ligue 1 title every year.

Stats via WhoScored.com