How much do Arsenal really need a new striker?
Ever since the signing of Granit Xhaka was confirmed last week by the club, Arsenal fans have been wondering where, when and who our next newcomer may be. After completing his journey to find a midfielder, Wenger will surely now be on the look out to improve the other key areas that need addressing in the team.
One of these areas is the desperate need for a top quality striker, which we all know Wenger has not had much luck in finding for at least the past 4-5 years. Before Giroud, we had Van Persie leading the line who despite his injuries, did have a few fantastic seasons with the Gunners before his move away from the club. Before RVP, we had Adebayor up top, who may have spent the past few years on an endless spiral, but on his day he was a striker that defences would be scared of coming up against. If you then go back far enough you reach the days of the King, Thierry Henry and so on and so on, showing that Wenger has had a few very good strikers in his management of the club. This is not to compare them against one another, but that Giroud comes nowhere near the skill and ability of any of those players in their prime.
Firstly it must be said that I don’t think Giroud deserves all the hate he gets. Giroud on average does score 20 goals a season for the Gunners, which isn’t exactly a bad figure. The issue is his consistency and that he doesn’t get enough goals in the Premier League to drive us towards the title. We saw Giroud start the season brightly, working up a good partnership with teammate Mesut Ozil. However the Frenchman faded and experienced a barren run of games without a goal over the second half of the season, before finally finding form again in the last few games against Man City and Aston Villa.
Quite simply put, Giroud is good enough for Arsenal, as he does certainly have the ability to impact the game. This is because As mentioned, 20 goals on average is a not a bad score come the end of the season, the problem is that he is not good enough to be the club’s main striker! Many think Giroud is nothing more than a pretty face that should be binned by the club. I don’t think the Frenchman should leave Arsenal, he just needs more competition and more of a bench role. If Giroud isn’t happy with that or isn’t willing to fight for his place then by all means he can choose to leave. However I don’t think Arsenal should be looking to get rid of him completely because he does offer us something other strikers don’t.
Giroud is a fantastic header of the ball and can hold the ball up well to create chances for his other teammates. What he can’t do is sprint towards goal with pace, frighten defenders and try to beat a man. That isn’t in Giroud’s natural ability to do so, which is why it would be good to have two strikers at the club, who can offer the team something different, rather than be stuck with Giroud’s one style of play.
I did think Danny Welbeck was the answer, as he does have the pace and ability to beat a man with the ball at his feet. However his injures of course are a concern and so I think Wenger still has to look elsewhere. Lukaku for me is a firm favourite if Wenger can somehow come to agreement with Everton, but if not there are a fair few strikers already out there that could be what the club is looking for.