Who has been Arsenal’s Player of the Year?

9 of 10

Olivier Giroud

View image | gettyimages.com

The owner of many unflattering nicknames has widdled his way into the MVP talks based on several factors (that’s right, more than just his headed goals).

Olivier Giroud came back from his broken foot with a vengeance. He went on a streak of 16 goals in 21 appearances and got his goal per 90 number to an astounding .96. That .96 was second only to Lionel Messi in world football. Needless to say, Olivier Giroud got noticed.

More from Pain in the Arsenal

Giroud got so noticed that he did something I didn’t think was possible: he stole the spotlight from Alexis Sanchez and convinced the world that Alexis was in a slump when in fact, it was just Giroud stealing the show.

Olivier Giroud was widely criticized when he compared himself to Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero earlier in the year, but based on the stats, he wasn’t wrong. Those that accused Giroud of being solely capable of headed goals and one-timers will be shocked to hear that Giroud has more goals outside of the goal area than Costa and Aguero combined (via Squawka.com). He’s also got the same shot accuracy as Sergio Aguero.

Giroud is starting to master his link play as well. His passing skills have improved by leaps and bounds this year as he’s one of the key contributors to driving attacks forward.

The problem with Giroud is that he has fallen off in the past few games, as his goalless streak is now at 270 minutes. It’s his biggest slump this year. While that’s quite the slump, it still shouldn’t detract from the huge year Olivier Giroud has had.

Next: VOTE!!!