Real Sociedad’s star player Antoine Griezmann took to Twitter yesterday to refute rumours of a move to PSG being completed. The 23-year-old Frenchman was the subject of an apparently confirmed news story suggesting he had agreed terms with the Ligue 1 club.
The Sociedad youth prospect answered back to these claims, saying ,”Having seen this news, I want to deny any discussions or an agreement with a club.
“I want to clarify that despite rumours of a deal with PSG today, no contact or decisions of this type have been considered.”
The rumour begins what is expected to be a long summer for La Real as their star players will be endlessly linked with top sides across Europe. Griezmann is just the beginning, but failure to qualify for the Champions League, which is looking likely as they trail rivals and 4th placed Athletic Bilbao by 10 points, will ultimately see more players look to leave.
Having enjoyed/endured Champions League football this season, Sociedad’s players and fans yearned for more after a disappointing exit. However, the club has not been set up to repeatedly achieve European finishes, unlike Valencia, Sevilla and now Athletic Bilbao.
Since Philippe Montainier left at the end of last season, Sociedad have arguably been worse off. It has culminated in an inconsistent season under Jagoba Arrasate and a lack of fresh injection. The golden generation of players have stayed but have seen the squad remain the same. With a young squad made up of some players who came up from the Segunda, knowing how to follow a sensational season has been tricky.
And with the talent in the squad, that is a shame. 15-goal Griezmann is the star of the squad, alongside 11-goal Carlos Vela, and if they left then the squad would be ripped apart. Inigo Martinez is another highly rated youngster at centre-back and deserves to be playing European football on a regular basis. These three lynchpins are the quality Sociedad can ill afford to keep if they finish outside the top 4.
Griezmann’s departure is almost inevitable, as many Sociedad supporters will admit. His next destination is unknown but his stock has risen since last season and Sociedad will surely look to cash in. This could begin a rapid series of events, with Vela the next likely to follow. Basque-born Martinez could stay with his side but will have to accept the lack of quality next season.
Sociedad need to strengthen no matter who departs, but replacing Griezmann and possibly Vela will take them away from European contention you would think. The club are sensible with their finances, and will not be caught in a similar trap as Betis have done this year, but the talent that brought them such success will vanish if there is no financial input. It is likely to signal the end of their flirtation with Champions League football for the near future.
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