Arsenal: Olivier Giroud’s dilemma needs to be solved

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Olivier Giroud of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on August 11, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Olivier Giroud of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on August 11, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) /

With Lacazette keeping Olivier Giroud out of the first team, the former Montpellier man must decide what is best for his future, Arsenal or not.

Olivier Giroud has been a good striker for Arsenal throughout his time at the club.  He lacks the deadly finishing capabilities of the very top forwards in Europe, but he is reliable and works very hard.  This season he is out of the team, though, and his position at the club could be in jeopardy.

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When Olivier Giroud signed for Arsenal he had some enormous shoes to fill.  Robin Van Persie had just joined Manchester United and we were left without a first-team center forward.

Wenger needed a new striker and based on Giroud’s goal-scoring record at Montpellier, he seemed like a good fit to replace the Dutchman.  He had a difficult first season at Arsenal but after settling in to the team he became one of the first names on the team sheet.

This season, however, we have seen Giroud’s position usurped completely by Alexandre Lacazette.

Giroud has not yet started a Premier League game for Arsenal this season, and with Lacazette scoring almost every week, it does not seem likely that he will get the chance.  Giroud’s finishing ability just does not match Lacazette’s.  He has a different play style also; he is slower and likes to have balls crossed into the box.  Lacazette is a player with a lot of pace who can run in behind defences.  He is a good fit for the type of football Arsenal play.

The big question for Giroud is – what does he do about all of this?  If he is not being picked how does he solve the problem?

A big concern for him has to be his place in the World Cup next summer.  He is usually a starter for France, but with him not playing regular first-team football, that role may be under threat.

Didier Deschamps may well opt to choose another scorer who plays every week, and that player could be Lacazette.  It could be only a matter of time before Lacazette takes his place in the France squad after already ousting him from his place in the Arsenal team.

One option for Giroud would be to leave in the January window and sign for a smaller Premiership team.  The rumours were swirling over Giroud this summer about a supposed to move to West Ham or Everton, and with the way their season has been going so far, Giroud looks like he would be quite a good acquisition.  If this were to happen the Frenchman would be playing every week, and probably scoring every week.

The problem with this move is that he would be playing for a team that does not have a very high standard.

The rest of the French team squad are all playing for top clubs – Griezmann at Atletico Madrid, Pogba at Manchester United, Mbappe at PSG. Giroud at West Ham does not fit the trend.  This could force him out of the french team even if he is playing well and scoring goals.

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The second option Giroud has is to stay with Arsenal and hope he can gain his place back.  This seems like an almost impossible task.  Lacazette cost Arsenal around £50 million, a price that Wenger will almost certainly not leave on the bench.  If Giroud has any chance, he will have to either score goals as a substitute, or convince Wenger that he can form a good partnership with Lacazette and play as a second striker.

As a second stiker the two could work very well together.  We know Giroud’s link-up play can be very good and with a fast player like Lacazatte they could be a real hazard for opponents.  It will take some convincing for Wenger to allow this, though, as we have seen in the past he almost always plays a lone striker.

Giroud is a player that has divided opinion in the Arsenal camp since he joined us in 2012.  He can pull off spectacular goals when we need them but he has also been known to miss easy chances.  Some people love him and some people hate him.  If he stays the fans will be happy to see him fight for a place and hopefully score more goals off the bench.

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If he goes we will wish him all the best and thank him for his loyalty and service to Arsenal over the last five years.