Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Arsenal To Part Ways With Experienced French Forward: Where Does His Future Lie?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

Olivier Giroud has struggled to find game time after the summer signing of his compatriot Alexandre Lacazette to Arsenal. He has not started a single match for the Gunners in the Premier League this season, netting only 3 goals in the limited minutes he has received so far.

Wenger has played him the full 90 minutes in all 5 Europa League matches, which saw him net 2 goals.

Reports suggest that his position in the French squad is under heavy contention from a line of young attackers like Kylian Mbappe, Kevin Gameiro, and Anthony Martial. Even though none of them possesses the exact skill set that Giroud has, Didier Deschamps might not accommodate an out of form striker in the World Cup 2018 squad.

France’s assistant manager Guy Stephan wishes to see more of Giroud on the pitch in order to place him in the French national squad. He praised the Arsenal forward for his past performances for the team.

He stated that they will look to experiment with the squad in the international break from May 28 to June 9 before the World Cup 2018. It will be up to the veteran striker to prove himself to the national team management.

Giroud has scored 29 times in 69 appearances for the national team bagging a hat-trick against Paraguay in June 2017.

He performed well in the Euro 2016, winning the Bronze boot as a joint top scorer with 3 goals and 2 assists. His combination with Antoine Greizman and Dimitri Payet was lethal to push the team to the final of the competition.

He arrived at Arsenal in the summer of 2012 and since has scored 72 goals in 175 appearances.

Wenger has utilized him as a lone striker leading the Gunner’s front line for the past 5 seasons. It could be said that he had secured himself as the first choice striker for the team when he signed a long-term contract with the club in January 2017.

However, it has changed in recent times, with Wenger preferring the younger, faster and more skillful Lacazette before him.

Everton had placed a sincere interest in acquiring the services of the Frenchman in summer, but Arsenal was not ready to part with him then.

But new manager, Sam Allardyce might not have the same interests as the club’s former, Ronald Koeman.

French giants Lyon and Marseille had previously expressed interest in Giroud too, but the possibility of the move was rejected by the Frenchman himself as he stated he was happy at Arsenal when rumors emerged in October. However he did not completely rule out a move back to the French Ligue in the future, and as per recent times, he might have to consider that possibility.

Oliver Giroud can also be snatched up by Premier League sides Swansea City and Crystal Palace. Their lack of attacking quality and a possible relegation battle can be faced head-on with the strength and scoring quality of the Arsenal forward.

Arsenal fans, however, might not be willing to see the striker departing just yet since he still has an influential role at the club.

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