Antoinne Griezmann has completed his long-anticipated move to Atletico Madrid for €30 million with Real Sociedad losing a key player in the final third of the pitch. But the signing of Alfred Finnbogason could replace the goals Sociedad lost with the Frenchman's departure, and potentially fire La Real to new heights.
In Carlos Vela and Antoine Griezmann, Real Sociedad have two of La Liga’s deadliest wingers last season, along with a creative midfield and solid defence.
The one thing they lacked was a consistent, clinical centre forward to take them to the next level. And Sociedad manager Jagoba Arrasate has addressed this problem with the signing of Iceland striker Alfred Finnbogason.
For €8 million, La Real has secured a proven goal scorer. The Icelandic striker was nothing short of prolific during his time with Heerenveen.
It only took two seasons to become the club’s leading scorer, finding the net 59 times in only 66 matches. 31 goals last season was enough to turn Arrasate's head.
Of course the step up in quality is huge, but having a striker who knows how to find the back of the net is always a bonus.
Number 9 problems
Sociedad have been unable to rely on neither Agirretxe nor Seferovic for a consistent goals return.
Their main striker Imanol Agirretxe couldn’t hit double figures last season, with only eight goals in 31 La Liga appearances.
Similarly, second-choice forward Haris Seferovic found goals hard to come by, managing only two goals in his 24 league appearances, albeit only nine were starts. The lack of a lethal centre forward hindered them both in La Liga and the Champions League.
Reliance on Vela and Griezmann
With neither forward firing, Sociedad had to look to Griezmann and Vela to find the back of the net with the duo scoring 32 goals between them. One can only speculate how well they could have done with a consistent return from either centre forward.
Whilst it would have been ideal for three to play together Finnbogason and Vela can still form a fruitful partnership.
The Frenchman’s departure will place an increased importance on Finnbogason to hit the ground running and contribute early into his Sociedad career.
But if Vela and the new arrival can spark a healthy relationship, the goals should flow. Vela was La Real’s creative spark, registering 12 assists in La Liga, and Finnbogason has already shown that if he gets the service, he’ll find the net.