Was Olivier Giroud a Success at Arsenal?

By Edward V
In Arsenal
Feb 2nd, 2018
0 Comments


After much speculation, Olivier Giroud has finally left Arsenal. Linked with a move to Everton in the summer of 2017, the France international striker joined the Gunners’ bitter London rivals Chelsea on January transfer deadline day. Arsenal have been paid £18 million in transfer fees for the 31-year-old, who has signed an 18-month deal with Chelsea.

With question marks over the fitness and the form of Alvaro Morata, Giroud could even walk straight into the Chelsea starting lineup right away. Eden Hazard is one of the best creative midfielders in the world, while the likes of Willian, Pedro and Ross Barkley are not too shabby.

Although Giroud is not going to enhance the odds of Chelsea winning the title this season – they are 8/1 outsiders according to latest Premier League betting odds – what the Frenchman will do is increase the London club’s chances of finishing in the to four and add extra ammunition to their Champions League campaign. Who knows, Giroud could well end up European champion at the end of the season.

Giroud had fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal since the signing of Alexandre Lacazette in the summer of 2017, and the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund on January transfer deadline meant that it was inevitable that the Frenchman would leave. Giroud is not a world-class footballer and will never be, but nevertheless, Arsenal fans were disappointed to see the back of him, and one can fully understand why.

Giroud arrived at Arsenal as a French champion, scoring 21 goals to guide Montpellier to the Ligue 1 title during the 2011-12 season. The 31-year-old led the line well for the Gunners for the subsequent years, and although there were moments when he missed an easy chance or did not get involved in the game, there was never a shadow of a doubt that he gave his all on the pitch. 105 goals in 253 games is not a bad record for any striker, especially for one who is not exactly in the top bracket of the best strikers in the world.

True, Giroud is limited in some areas, but he can be a good target who can head well and is also capable of scoring the odd spectacular goal, like the scorpion kick against Crystal Palace in March 2017. A loyal player who does not create any fuss when he is not playing regularly and is popular among his teammates, Giroud was a success in his own way at Arsenal – three FA Cup triumphs during his time at Arsenal underline that.

One could argue that with the likes of Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez creating loads of chances for him, Giroud should have scored more goals than he did. However, while that argument is valid, what needs to be remembered when it comes to Giroud is that he never pretended to be what he is not and always did the best he could for the Gunners.

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