Arsenal frontman Olivier Giroud, it is fair to say, has attracted his fair share of praise and criticism in his four years at the Emirates.
Nonetheless, the player has been confirmed to be in Arsene Wenger’s long-term plans, and if Thierry Henry’s advice is realised Arsenal may be getting the best yet out of their striker in the upcoming season.
Ahead of his appearance in the Euro 2016 final with France, reports have surfaced claiming that Giroud was a target for several clubs towards the end of the 2015/16 season.
Giroud has obviously also showcased his talent during the Euros by scoring three goals and providing two assists in his five appearances. Only his compatriot Antoine Griezmann has outscored the Arsenal forward so far in the tournament.
Darren Lewis of the Mirror explains that “a number of clubs made contact with the Gunners towards the end of last season over the 29-year-old France striker’s availability” and “after initially suggesting they could be open to offers at the time, Arsenal have now insisted the Euro 2016 finalist is not for sale.”
With Giroud firmly within Wenger’s vision for the team, almost all Arsenal fans are wondering who else will be joining the Frenchman in the forward line of Arsenal and club legend Thierry Henry is no different, saying (via the Evening Standard):
“I’ve said it many times – Giroud is very good at what he does. He’s a very good player but he needs to play with someone.”
Henry continued to explain how France have extracted the best out of Giroud during Euro 2016:
“Giroud, with his back to goal, is very good; you saw the goal against Ireland when Giroud flicked on and [Antoine] Griezmann scored. He can’t turn and outpace anyone, Giroud, but in Griezmann he has a guy he can feed. It’s a great partnership. They share the workload of scoring goals.
“I never doubted what he can do but I think he’s better with someone alongside him.
“Everyone has always said that Arsenal need another striker but that doesn’t mean Giroud has to drop to the bench. He should play with someone because he has all the attributes. I’ve said before, I would have loved to have played with him.”
Whether Arsenal fans will see a 4-4-2 formation next season is unknown, with Wenger having preferred the 4-2-3-1 after Dennis Bergkamp’s retirement in 2006.
Henry has made his feelings explicit in regard to the 4-4-2 formation, and with Leicester’s Premier League title and other surprising Euro 2016 results having been achieved with the 4-4-2 formation, he may be vindicated in his comments.
“I do not understand why people are scared to play with two strikers,” Henry added. “Look at all the teams that have been successful at this tournament – France, Italy have been successful playing a 3-5-2. I think the game is going back to two strikers.
“Sometimes I watch Arsenal and think it would be great to see Sanchez behind Olivier. Giroud is the perfect striker to play with a guy that runs in behind.”
Pundit Arena previously made the point that Giroud’s “performance relies on who he has surrounding him” and this claim has been proven as France have progressed into the Euro 2016 final.
The final piece of the puzzle seems to be Arsene Wenger recognising how to get the best out of Giroud and finding a top-class forward to play alongside him, whether that be in the form of Alvaro Morata, Romelu Lukaku or Alexandre Lacazette, and perhaps using Alexis Sanchez in more central positions alongside, rather than behind, Giroud.
Read More About: Alexandre Lacazette, Alexis Sanchez, Alvaro Morata, Antoine Greizmann, Arsenal, arsenal news, Arsenal Transfer Gossip, ArsenalTSN, Arsene Wenger, English Football, Euro 16, Euro 2016, France, French Football, olivier giroud, romelu lukaku, Thierry Henry