Arsenal’s season so far has followed a familiar script. A previously promising league campaign looked to be permanently derailed before Christmas, while drawing Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16 means that yet another a second round exit looks to be on the cards.
They have, however, so far escaped the rampaging of the Chinese Super League. Their London neighbours Chelsea have been less lucky. The Blues have seen the midfield duo of John Obi Mikel and Oscar depart for the Far East but the Chinese franchises don’t look set to stop there.
The rumoured £3o million-a-year deal offered to Diego Costa has piqued the Spaniard’s attention, and it’s unclear how committed he will be to Chelsea’s title tilt in light of it.
Despite the eye-watering nature of such offers, Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, speaking at a Puma boots promotion (via Sky Sports), has made it clear that he wouldn’t even consider such proposals at this moment in time.
“Honestly, from my point of view I will tell you that I can understand, but if you asked me if I want to go now I will tell you ‘no.’
“The Premier League is my main target so after when I will win it one day, why not, you never know.”
Giroud should be admired for his insistence that a Premier League title is seemingly inevitable for the London club, sooner or later. At 30 years old however, the notion that he is assured of a winners medal should he stick around at the Emirates seems fanciful.
What isn’t fanciful, however, is the competition for places currently at Arsenal, as the Frenchman vies with Alexis Sanchez for the lone striker role. One thing that he would certainly miss should he leave for China would be the competitive spirit of the Premier League, especially at a club of Arsenal’s stature.
“It’s always nice to have a good competition between us and if I keep scoring, why not stay in the starting eleven?”
The question is indeed an intriguing one for Gunners fans. Giroud has now scored in nine of his last starts for Arsenal in all competitions but one can’t help but feeling that the team look more threatening with Sanchez in the number nine role rather than the Frenchman.
How Wenger rewards Giroud’s prolific form moving forward remains to be seen.
Colm Egan, Pundit Arena