Arsenal spent long days in negotiations with Real Sociedad at the start of the summer transfer window, ostensibly over the compensation fee for Carlos Vela, but it has now been revealed that the Gunners also wanted to bring in the brilliant winger Antoine Griezmann from the Basque club.
Vela’s strike partner eventually ended up in Spanish capital with Atletico, and Griezmann himself explained why he turned down a move to London with Arsenal. ‘Why Spain and not elsewhere? This is my championship, my home’, the French international said. ‘I’m happy here and Atletico is a great club. The champions were willing to pay €30 million [£23.8m] for me.
‘I had the boss on the phone. He motivated me and said the club really wanted me. I knew that I was coming here to learn. Was it weird when PSG and Arsenal were also interested? [Atletico are] still the champions of Spain!
‘I needed a club like that and a coach like Diego Simeone to progress. He always demands intensity in training. That’s my style and I like it’.
Griezmann has already shown his worth to the Champions League Finalists with six assists in seven starts this season, and I’m sure he would have been just as successful for Arsenal. At least this shows that Arsene Wenger was actually trying to bring more stars to the club. Oh if only we had have signed all the ones-that-got-away!