Antoine Griezmann will go into Thursday’s match looking for ‘revenge’ after the way Arsenal treated him back in 2013, according to reports in Spain.
In the striker’s recent autobiography, Griezmann revealed the story of his almost-transfer to Arsenal five years ago. He explained that club scout Gilles Grimandi told them of Arsene Wenger’s interest, so the player “put aside all other offers”.
“I waited, I waited, and I kept waiting,” he said in the book. “When there was no news, Eric called Grimandi, who said that the manager was still interested in me [and] to keep waiting. Finally a few hours before the market closed, he let us know Arsenal would not make a move.
“I don’t like to be told something and for it not to happen. So when Eric told me later that the London club were interested again I told him ‘Forget it, after the blow they gave us.'”
Now, Wednesday’s AS claims the 27-year-old wants to ‘take revenge’. Diego Costa’s involvement in the first-leg is still a doubt. Therefore Griezmann will likely lead the line for the Spanish side when they travel to London on Thursday.
The French international has 26 goals and 13 assists this season, in 44 appearances. He’s been in particularly good form in the Europa League, with six goal contributions in five matches. The only time he didn’t manage a goal or assist was in the 1-0 defeat to Sporting CP.
For Arsenal’s part, they’ve moved on pretty well in the striking department. Alexandre Lacazette joined the club last summer, and has six goals in his last six games. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined in January and his nine goal contributions in nine Premier League appearances.
Unfortunately Aubameyang can’t play on Thursday, so it’s up to Lacazette and Danny Welbeck to do the business. Even Welbeck is stepping up well at the moment. The England man has three goals in his last three Europa League knockout matches. Let’s hope the Arsenal duo kill Griezmann’s dream of showing the Gunners up.