Do Arsenal Need a Thirty-Goal Striker To Find Success or is Olivier Giroud Enough?


With all of Arsenal’s transfer needs filled (yes, even Defensive Midfield), the rumors have started to turn to luxury signings that Arsenal could decide to move for. Arsenal’s defense has been reinforced well with the signing of Gabriel Paulista and the emergence of Francis Coquelin and the soon-to-be return of Jack Wilshere leaves our midfield well-manned as well.

But with the departures of Joel Campbell, Lukas Podolski, Yaya Sanogo, Benik Afobe and possibly Chuba Akpom, Arsenal find themselves incredibly short-staffed at the front of the pitch yet again, especially with Danny Welbeck still injured.

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As such, the main links we’re finding tied to Arsenal are the likes of Luis Suarez, Mario Mandzukic, Edinson Cavani, Karim Benzema and a multitude of other strikers. While no one is denying how beneficial such a striker would be to literally any club in the world, the question is whether or not Arsenal need a 30-goal man like they last had in Robin van Persie.

Let’s first consider our current option, Olivier Giroud.

In my opinion, Giroud is one of the most underrated players in the Premier League. Friend and foe alike have never been kind to Giroud, despite him putting up respectable goal tallies and being excellent at holding up play and doing exactly what a big-bodied forward should do. But even when it comes to work-rate, Giroud is among the tops on the team.

Take for instance the match against Manchester City, where Arsenal won convincingly 2-0. Giroud ran over seven miles, good for best on the pitch.

His style of hold-up play combines so well with speedy wingers like Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin and makes him the ideal forward for such a squad.

Yet still there’s that clamor to get a big-name striker.

Let’s compare Giroud’s stats this year to the aforementioned list of strikers Arsenal are linked to. Keep in mind that stats don’t always tell the whole story. Positional discrepancies and supporting cast hugely influence how one’s stats turn out in a season. But for the time being, here are the per-90 minute stats (via Squawka):

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Again, there are a handful of excuses you can throw at any of the names in that table for why the stats are the way they are, but the bare bones of the statistics show that Giroud is sufficient. Keep in mind that Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright never eclipsed 30 league goals either, and Arsenal did quite fine during their tenures with the club.

I’m not denying that having Edinson Cavani in the squad wouldn’t be welcomed. But I am denying that he’ll ever be in the club. It’s not the Arsenal way and it certainly isn’t the Arsene Wenger way.

Arsenal’s downfalls this year haven’t been lack of goals. We’ve commandeered leads pretty easily. It’s been injuries, particularly to a battered defense that did us in thus far. Even when Giroud was out, Alexis and Co. did a fine job of providing enough attack.

When Healthy, this Arsenal club can beat the best, it isn’t the lack of a top-tiered striker that’s holding us back. Robin van Persie provided plenty of goals for us but we never won anything with him as the sole striker. That over-reliance isn’t the Arsenal way.

Each and every one of those transfer targets would cost far in excess of 20 million pounds. Arsene Wenger already solved Arsenal’s attack crisis when he brought in Alexis Sanchez, who has exceeded all expectations. So why are we still clamoring for a new striker? Look what we did against one of the best in the league (Manchester City) with a near-full-health squad. What would you change from that squad?

Giroud is the perfect striker for the Arsenal system and it’s about time he was given some credit. But that’s just my opinion, what do you think, can Arsenal win more silverware with Olivier Giroud as our main striker?

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