After finally signing a two-year contract extension at Arsenal, the Gunners boss Arsene Wenger claimed that he will be active in the transfer market this summer and look to bring in reinforcements, whilst also admitting that some players need to be let go with the squad a little ‘heavy’ at the moment. With Lucas Perez’s departure from the Emirates all but certain, the latest Arsenal star linked with a move away is Olivier Giroud.
If reports from the English media are to be believed, newly-promoted Newcastle United have tabled a £22 million bid for the striker, with West Ham also said to be interested in acquiring his services should the player opt to stay in London. The Frenchman has made more appearances off the bench this season than from the start and could be tempted by the lure of regular first-team football.
Arsenal are reported to have made a ground-breaking £87 million offer to sign Kylian Mbappe from Ligue 1 champions Monaco and rumor has it that it may be Olivier Giroud who may be sacrificed from the ‘heavy’ squad to make way for his fellow Frenchman. But while the report does have credibility as the source is L’Equipe, a deal for the 18-year-old wonderkid is still a long-shot, with the Gunners sizing up yet another offer for Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette should the move fail to materialise.
In my opinion, Arsenal must try and retain Giroud. Despite being heavily criticised over the years, the former Montpellier man has 98 goals in 226 appearances for the Gunners, which is a very respectable goal return, if not prolific. Also, the player has shown this season that he can be a very effective squad player as well, coming off the bench numerous times to great affect, the latest occasion being the FA Cup final victory over Chelsea.
In addition, Arsenal do not have another striker in the mould of Giroud and a targetman is always a good asset for a squad to have. Besides, with the Gunners likely to play around 50-60 games next season, he will get his fair share of opportunities as well. While there is no doubt that Arsenal need to bolster their attacking options, Olivier Giroud should not be the player let go if the club needs to make space for new recruits. A player by the name of Theo Walcott comes to mind in that regard.