Olivier Giroud unsettled by limited game time

With the futures of star men Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil yet to be resolved , Arsenal are finding themselves in an increasingly complicated situation with another key member of the team, the underrated Frenchman Olivier Giroud. Giroud had endured a frustrating 2016-2017 season in which he struggled to find regular game time and registered only 11 premier league starts and. He made important contributions from the bench whenever he was called upon, scoring goals that earned important points for the team. But his heroics off the bench could only reinforce the view that he is a plan B, and he saw his starting position as a striker usurped by the menacing Alexis Sanchez. This season, with the impending arrival of another striker, Giroud fears that he might see his role further reduced, unacceptable for a forward in his prime, especially in a world cup year.

No dearth of suitors

It was reported that the player was unhappy with the limited game time he managed during the previous season, and he might consider a move to another side where he will be likely to start every game. Earlier during the transfer window, there were rumors linking the striker with a return to France with Olympique Marseille as the possible destination. He was also linked with a move across London to West Ham United. Both of these sides can offer him regular starting role, which the striker needs to ensure that he remains a part of Didier Deschamps' plans for Russia 2018.

Cash plus Giroud for Lacazette

The latest reports suggest that Giroud might be used as a makeweight in a deal involving the transfer of the Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette to Arsenal. In a recent interview with the French newspaper L'Equipe, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas admitted that they would be interested in signing Giroud from Arsenal. Arsenal has been linked with Lacazette for two consecutive seasons now, and it seems the French club resigned to the fact that the striker will be leaving this summer. Reports suggest that Arsenal is willing to offer Olivier Giroud plus cash to secure the services of Lacazette. With two productive seasons in France, Lacazette has proved his credentials as a much sought after striker in the continent. Lacazette brings to the table sheer pace, dribbling ability and most importantly clinical finishing which Arsenal attack is not known for. In all accounts, Alexabdre Lacazette looks like the player who will definitely strengthen the Arsenal attack.

Not so wise deal

However, the fact remains that Olivier Giroud is a proven striker in the premier league, with qualities possessed by very few modern day strikers. At the age of 30, Giroud remains the first choice striker in a talented France team which has no dearth of options in the striking department, and recent performances suggest that France is immensely benefitted from his aerial presence and hold up play. His goal output in the recent matches for the France team is fantastic. He has been scoring at the rate of almost one goal per game for France in recent months. In contrast, Lacazette is yet to cement his place in the France team, and finds himself in the periphery. It makes no sense to swap a player of the stature of Giroud plus cash for another player who is far behind him in the packing order in the France national team. Such a deal severely undervalues Olivier Giroud, and at worst, it shows the naïve approach by Arsenal transfer staff.

Olivier Giroud is a player who thrives on service from wide areas, attacking crosses with his big frame. His muscular presence in the box unsettles the meanest of defenders. The France team operates in a way that plays to the strengths of the big man, his aerial ability and hold up play. The most glaring example was the way France performed in Euro 2016, where Antoine Griezmann benefitted immensely from Giroud's presence. The bewildering number of headed goals scored since he arrived in the league is a proof of his aerial ability, and his hold up play is second to none in the league. Arsenal can reap benefits if they can replicate what the French team does with Giroud. His lack of pace is criticized, but his ability to bring others into play remains a vital asset.

Sell Lucas Perez Instead

Olivier Giroud is a player who needs to be complemented, not replaced. Arsenal will need his muscular presence to unlock sides who tends to sit deep against a possession heavy Arsenal side. No matter which striker Arsenal signs this summer, they might keep the services of Olivier Giroud. If a player needs to find another club with the potential arrival of Lacaette, that player will be Lucas Perez. Despite his handsome return goals and assists in cameo appearances last season, it's becoming increasingly clear that the Spaniard doesn't find himself in Wenger's plans, and it will be in the best interest of both the player and the club to part ways.

Giroud will remain important

Even if the much talked about Kylian Mbappe pursuit yield positive results, Olivier Giroud should still keep his place in the Arsenal team, albeit in a limited yet very important role. If Arsenal lands Lacazette, then then they should sell Lucas Perez. If a miracle happens, and Arsenal were able to sign both Lacazette and MBappe, then they should sell Lucas Perez, and perhaps Danny Welbeck too. Lacazette and MBappe will be massive upgrades on those two players. But neither Lacazette and Mbappe offers better aerial presence and hold up play than Olivier Giroud.

It depends on the player

However, much of this will depend on the player, especially whether he would be ready to accept limited game minutes in a World Cup year. However, the player himself admitted he would like to stay in London. However, his preference for London does not answer the problem and merely shifts the attention to London based suitors such as West Ham United. While Arsenal continues the pursuit of a striker, it is equally important that they keep their best players. However, they will breathe easy as the player has a contract till 2019.