Should Wenger Reinstate Giroud in the Starting XI?
November 23, 2016 | Filed Under: Blog
Olivier Giroud once again came on late for Arsenal and scored a crucial goal against Manchester United in the Premier League tie at Old Trafford. With the Frenchman visibly peeved at these cameo performances, should Arsene Wenger consider reinstating him at the focal point of the Gunners attack?
With supporters frustrated by the lack of consistency shown by Giroud over the years, many have seen his demotion to the bench in favour of Alexis Sanchez up front as a positive step by Wenger. The Chilean has excelled in the striker role for most of the season and managed to bag 6 goals and 4 assists in 12 games. He has also been teaming up beautifully with Theo Walcott, and has helped the English winger to claim 5 goals and 3 assists.
Until the United match, there hadn’t been any need to rotate in the striker position and give Giroud an opportunity to start a game. But Arsenal were toothless in the Old Trafford clash until the Frenchman came on. Fans buy Arsenal tickets to see goals, and if the team are failing to score, then Wenger needs to mix things up in attack.
The French striker is not happy about the situation, especially seeing as during his cameo performances in the last 3 games he has scored 3 goals from 4 shots. From Giroud’s viewpoint, his brace against Sunderland in gameweek 10 should have been enough to see him start the game against Tottenham Hotspur the following week. Although he has proved to be a great asset for Wenger to introduce late on when chasing a game, Giroud will certainly be weighing up his options as the January transfer window peers around the corner.
Though it has often been argued that Giroud doesn’t possess the star quality required of a striker in a title challenging team, there are plenty of other suitors who would relish the opportunity to have the 30-year-old leading the line for them. According to The Mirror, Italian giants Juventus would be interested in prising the forward away from the Emirates, but with Gonzalo Higuain already in their ranks, Giroud may feel that the Serie A champions would be acquiring him as a backup striker.
Giroud is reportedly on a £130,000-a-week contract with Arsenal until 2018, meaning that anyone wishing to tempt the Frenchman into leaving the club will have to pay the Gunners a healthy sum to take the player. The Daily Star claims that the striker is set for showdown talks with Wenger, though, and if he doesn’t get assurances about his place in the first team he may put in a transfer request.
Until the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, Wenger’s choice of starting XI in the league had been fairly solid, and Arsenal were flying high. Now might be a good time to mix things up a bit, however, and give Giroud a chance to impress up top. If he can keep up the prolific form he has shown in the last few games he would be an excellent asset for the busy winter schedule. If he doesn’t want to lose the striker in January, Wenger needs to reach a compromise with him soon.