Why Real Sociedad’s Arsenal target Antoine Griezmann could be the man to replace Luis Suarez at Liverpool

Sociedad rule in the Basque Country

Liverpool’s Uruguayan hit-man Suarez seems set for and Anfield exit after another saga surrounding the Uruguayan.

After such a mesmeric season for the Reds during the last campaign, Suarez started the summer in sour circumstances and it has now become mind-numbingly obvious that he may never rediscover his tarnished reputation in England.

With Brendan Rodgers already adding steel to his front-line in the form of the swash-buckling Rickie Lambert, he has also supplemented that with creativity in Adam Lallana and Emre Can. Next on his list is replacing Luis Suarez – the impossible task.

Currently one of the worlds best players, it seems an almost impossible task to replace a player with such resilient armoury in his locker, but what is almost certain is that Rodgers will have to spend his money wisely on a player who could reap dividends for the club.

Antoine Griezmann, once an Arsenal target, has made the cut in recent seasons and his stand-out performances in La Liga have made him one of the hottest properties in Europe. For such a young talent, he is remarkably self-possessed and was a highly mobile individual in his time with Real Sociedad up-front.

With versatility never a problem for the fleet-footed Frenchman, he seems the ideal candidate to fill a gaping void once Luis Suarez completes his unprecedented departure away from Merseyside.

In a season where Sociedad failed to live up to expectations from the previous campaign, Griezmann was a shining light for the Spanish outfit. He netted a remarkable 16 goals in 35 appearances – evidence of his profligacy in-front of goal despite his tendency to play out wide.

Griezmann scored 16 goals last season

While of course that number falls 15 short of Luis Suarez’s tally for the domestic campaign, Griezmann still has more in his armoury and particularly on the creativity front.

He created 34 chances in La Liga last season and while that figure is hardly eye-catching, the areas in which he created those opportunities highlight just how perfect he would be in a system under Rodgers.

From the infamous tiki-taka, Rodgers has adopted a game-plan which adopts rapid transitional phases in play and Sociedad’s midfield metronome is the perfect man to contribute to that.

He created nearly 50% of his chances through the middle, but he was highly effective down either flank and with Daniel Sturridge likely to lead the line on the opening day, Griezmann supplying the ammunition makes for perfect reading.

Griezmann created his chances in various areas

His versatility will be be key, particularly with the system Rodgers play which provides his front men with the license to roam and interchange between each other.

He is a proven goalscorer and with the Champions League returning to Anfield next season, Brendan Rodgers will be aiming to recruit the finest of talents as he prepares his troops for war among the highest echelons of Europe.

Rodgers, or any other manager to that note, will know replacing a player of Suarez’s quality is virtually impossible. But the Northern Irishman will also know he can come close to getting similar level of talent and while a number of highly-inflated prices are being echoed around several players, Griezmann could be the much cheaper, better alternative they seek.

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Omar Hamouda
Omar Hamouda


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