Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Everton Eyeing A Move For This French International: Can He Thrive Under Koeman?

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Soham Dwibedi
Lives, breathes and dreams football. To reiterate the words of Bill Shankly, "some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that."

With the capture of Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon on a record transfer fee that could eclipse the £42m Arsenal paid for Mesut Ozil in 2013, it has become evident that Olivier Giroud would descend further down the pecking order under Wenger.

Having seen his role severely curtailed last season with Wenger preferring Alexis Sanchez in his stead at centre-forward, the acquisition of Lacazette makes his position seemingly untenable at the Emirates Stadium if he wants regular first-team football. Although it is unclear as of now whether Wenger would be able to convince Sanchez to put pen to paper on a new contract with the player apparently interested in joining his old boss, Guardiola at City.

As things stand, it would make sense for the 30-year-old Frenchman to move to pastures anew where first team opportunities are easier to come by if he wants to book his place for Russia 2018. The striker who scored 12 goals in the Premier League last season despite limited game time has attracted interest from Olympique Marseilles, West Ham and Everton.

Ronald Koeman bracing for life after Romelu Lukaku, who is set to join Chelsea is seemingly interested in a proven Premier League striker with an eye for the goal. Priced at £20m, he is also the right price for Everton who are looking to strengthen key areas in the team having already acquired Jordan Pickford (£25m rising to £30m) and highly rated Davy Klaassen (£27m).

Everton are also being linked with Wayne Rooney who is deemed surplus to requirement at United. But his hefty wage demands may prove to be a deterrence in the move going through.

If Arsenal manage to sell Giroud at £20m, it would represent a hefty profit on the £9.6m he was bought for. In a way, Giroud seems to personify Arsenal. Signed as a replacement for Van Persie, his greatness lies in the fact that he didn’t turn out to be as bad as many expected.

He managed to keep Arsenal in the top 4 until last season and delivered two FA Cups, enough to keep the critics at bay. Meant to be replaced by marquee players of the likes of Sanchez and Ozil, overlooked in FA Cup finals to pave the way for pacier players like Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck, he was the physical manifestation of Arsenal on the pitch with his inconsistent displays, flattering to deceive.

A big game player of sorts, having scored against Manchester United, PSG, and Chelsea last year; Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Manchester City in 2015-16; City, United, Liverpool and Monaco the year before that, the charge levelled against him is the same as the one levelled against Arsenal so often – not good enough to win titles (the FA Cups notwithstanding), not bad enough to be discarded totally.

It is to be seen how he fares at Merseyside under Ronald Koeman if the move goes through.

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