Since his arrival in the Summer of 2012 from Montpellier, Olivier Giroud has had his fair-share of critics. However, this season he is finally starting to justify the £9.6 million Arsene Wenger invested in him in 2012. At the time of his arrival, Robin Van Persie was still at the Emirates, so the Frenchman had huge expectations to live up to. Van Persie eventually left for Old Trafford thus making him a villain in the majority of Gooners eyes. Giroud took time to adapt to English football but now looks every part the player the Arsenal faithful had hoped.
On Wednesday Arsenal travelled to Anfield for a stern test of their title credentials, just when it looked as if they would take all three points, step up Joe Allen to snatch a point for the hosts. A Man of the Match performance from Arsenal’s No.12 has done a lot to cement them as title favourites in some people’s eyes. Two goals either side of half-time put Arsenal in pole position and up 3-2 on the night, his performance was nothing different to what he has produced in his previous 29 appearances this season. He lead the line as well as anyone in the Premier League and was a constant threat, when he is in-form he can bully any central defensive pairing and that is exactly what he did to Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho on the night.
Giroud in an Arsenal shirt has continued to develop and proven many people wrong. Plenty of fans and pundits a-like have suggested he is not good enough to fire Arsenal to the title or even just run close for the biggest prize in English football. He had a steady opening to his Arsenal career scoring 17 goals in 47 games which included 11 league goals. His best return came the following season where he scored 22 goals in 51 games and 16 league goals in the process. The French international striker had his injury problems last season, he only featured 36 times in all competitions but still got among the goals- scoring 19 times which included 14 league goals.
There are four months remaining of this season- so there is a long way to go. Giroud is on target to have his best season yet. He has already netted 18 times in 30 games, 12 of which have come in the league, and the two he bagged in midweek took his tally to nine in his last nine. In-fact Giroud has a strike consistency that is up there with the best in Europe.
Now the January transfer window is open there will an inevitable push from fans to expect Wenger to make additions to the squad, the capture of FC Basel midfielder Mohamed Elneny is a positive step from a manager that has rightly been accused of dawdling in the winter window. “Will Wenger try to sign a striker?” is the type question many fans will be asking themselves, don’t expect a big money deal in January it very rarely happens. Clubs will be doing their utmost to hold on to their key players so if there are any deals to be done it is likely to be additions in the form of back up rather than an improvement to the first team.
There has been talk of interest in Dortmund’s Aubameyang and Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi, both would be brilliant to a squad that is already exciting but any deal should be expected in the Summer- this is when Wenger prefers to do his big deals and he is of the opinion of any huge deals can upset the balance of the squad.
Giroud will be positive that he can hit 20+ league goals this season, he has a swagger about his play in-front of goal so don’t be surprised to see him challenge for this season’s golden boot. Arsenal’s 6ft 4in target man is currently three goals off Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy who both have 15 league goals so it may be a tall order for Giroud to capture to prize but don’t be surprised if he is in receipt of individual honours come May.
Featured Image: All Rights Reserved by Ronnie McDonald