Don’t Let Olivier Giroud Leave

As is expected this time of year, the transfer rumor mill is spinning, and it’s picking up all sorts of names along the way. Now that Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Lacazette from Lyon, the Olivier Giroud departure rumors will take center stage. While it’s tough to figure out what’s credible in the media during the offseason, selling Giroud this Summer could be a mistake.

Everton looks to be a potential destination for the 30-year old striker, but if Arsenal really wants to challenge across the board, they should keep him.

Alright, we all know he’s not the quickest and he’s not flashy, but that’s not his style. He doesn’t want to be on the highlight reel because of his 15 stopovers that made Vincent Kompany get injured again. Speed isn’t his forte and that’s fine, I can accept that. What I don’t want to accept is the fact that some Arsenal fans give him a load of stick because he’s not flashy like Messi, he’s not creative and quick like Aguero, and he’s not a proper twat like Vardy.

Oli has his own style. He’s a target man who will struggle if he doesn’t get the service he needs.

The beautiful bearded Frenchman joined the Gunners in June of 2012, but at the time, he wasn’t very well known, and he had no facial hair.

Having spent the previous two years at Montpellier, 85 appearances, 39 goals and 17 assists later, the unknown Frenchman was on his way to North London. Little did we know that we’d quickly fall in love with him, not for the fact that he’s the best striker in the world, because we know he’s not, but, for his professionalism, his never give up attitude, and his ability to put all the bullsh*t behind him and step up with a worldy when needed.

His first season at the club was his least productive when it comes to goals, having only scored 11 Premier League goals in 34 appearances. Across all competitions, Oli made 47 appearances, scored 17 and assisted 12. Not bad for a first season in the Premier League, coming from Ligue 1, which many will agree is less competitive.

With 58 goals and 22 assists over the last four seasons in the Premier League in 130 appearances, or 81 goals and 29 assists across all competitions in 180 appearances, it’s obvious he’s been somewhat influential.

As I’ve mentioned, he’s not a guy that’s going to win you the league on his own, but if given the proper opportunities, along with the proper personnel around him, he can contribute in a big way. Therefore, why would Arsenal want to get rid of him?

He has already publicly announced that he would like to continue his time at Arsenal, and we can only hope that the board agrees.

Giroud isn’t going to be the first name in the starting XI most match days, we know that. But, when things aren’t going well, or you need a physical player in the box, without Giroud, who else does Arsene Wenger turn to? Welbeck? Theo? Alexis, if he stays? Lacazette?

None of those guys are big and physical. Sure, Welbeck has some size to him, but he’s not the guy you expect to get into an aerial challenge in the box. Giroud on the other hand will. He’ll throw his body around and make things difficult for defenders, which at times, we need. Without him, Arsenal’s offense still has flair and pace, but when they need to win that ugly match, and the free-flowing offense isn’t working, Giroud comes in to save the day.

Proof of this was that performance against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Having just come on a substitute after Sunderland equalized, he got on the end of a cross from the left, and scored with his first touch. Moments later, from a corner kick, he won an aerial battle, flicking the ball over Pickford and into the back of the net, sending Arsenal well on their way to three points.

On top of the goals he can provide off the bench, he took part in 1,780 minutes of football this past season, while the previous four seasons he was averaging 3,261 minutes. A significant drop, and while there may have been injuries along the way, he accepted his role in the squad, and never dropped his head.

Being able to understand and accept that you’re not the primary frontman anymore isn’t easy for most, especially seeing as when called upon, he delivers more often than not. So if we are serious about competing on all fronts, be that domestic or international, how about we give ourselves a proper chance with some squad depth?

After all, injuries have been a problem in the past, meaning depth is vital! Don’t sell Giroud, unless of course he’s not willing to stay and play his part, but it seems that he doesn’t have much interest in leaving.