< Previous | July 25th 2016

Giroud could shine with solid back-up

There has been much debate over the future of Olivier Giroud, and rumours are circulating that he may be offered up in some kind of swap deal for Gonzalo Higuain. If these rumours come to fruition, would it benefit Arsenal, or would the club just be swapping one striker for another when what they really need is a competent supporting act?

"Giroud celebrates with Cazorla" (CC BY 2.0) by  Ronnie Macdonald 

With Danny Welbeck out injured for the foreseeable future, and Theo Walcott failing to impress when handed the number 9 role last season, Giroud is currently the only out-and-out striker in the team. The Frenchman has often found himself on the end of criticism from the press and the fans, as many believe he isn’t prolific enough to help the Gunners mount a serious onslaught on the Premier League title.

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There is no doubt that Giroud can put away the goals though, as his record of 16, 14, and 16 strikes in the last three campaigns proves. Many expect that Higuain, who enjoyed his most effective season ever for Napoli last time out, would provide the devastating edge to Arsenal’s attack that has been missing for so long. And a marquee signing like that would be a good reason to buy Arsenal tickets from Ticketgum to see him play at the Emirates. But if Arsene Wenger was to acquire the Argentine in a swap deal, he would still be faced with the problem of having only one main striker to carry the workload.  

When Arsenal last won the league in 2004, Thierry Henry put away an astonishing 30 goals. His efforts fired the Invincibles to the title, but he did also have the support of Dennis Bergkamp and the brilliant Robert Pires.

Not many strikers are in the same league as Henry, though, and nowadays, a title winning frontman would be fulfilling his role if he put away between 20 and 25 goals. If Giroud hadn’t suffered his dry spell around the turn of 2016, he was on track to hitting these heights. The thing is, this downturn in form happened at the same time as the whole team performances slid. Mesut Ozil wasn’t creating as many chances as he had done prior to Christmas, and Alexis Sanchez spent a long time out through injury.

Of course, there is also fatigue to consider, and Giroud could have benefited from having another striker in support to lighten the load. With this in mind, would Higuain, at 28 years old, fare any better? With the Italian club’s valuation of the player at around £80million, it is a huge gamble to take.

"Napoli, tegola per Benitez: Higuain ko c" (CC BY 2.0) by  NazionaleCalcio 

The alternative to shipping out Giroud to bring in the Napoli front-man could be to look for a cheaper support striker for the Frenchman elsewhere. Arsenal’s north London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, may have had the right idea bringing in Vincent Janssen from the Eredivisie as someone to share the load with Harry Kane. Spurs only paid £18.5million for the striker that bagged 27 goals last season.

A big name signing like Higuain would surely please the fans, and could give the team the boost they need. But then again, it may just be a case that Giroud needs a quality supporting act up there with him.

 


Author: Ian H.

25th July 2016 : 16:40pm
Twitter: @arsenalshorts
Instagram: @shortsarsenal




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