Arsenal’s gangling forward, Olivier Giroud, has reportedly been offered a two-year extension on his existing contract, which expires by 2016, to stay at the Emirates until 2018. L’Equipe reports that Arsene Wenger is keen on locking the 27-year-old French International down with a long-term contract going into the 2014/2015 football season. The striker, who has had a lot of tongue-lashing from press and fans in his past 2 years at the Emirates, was France’s second choice attacker in the just concluded 2014 FIFA World Cup that was held in Brazil.
The Arsenal number 12, known for his size, physical style of play, heading ability, link-up play, strength and shot power, moved to the Emirates in the summer of the 2012/2013 season after spending two glorious years at Montpellier in France. Since his move, he’d been playing at Arsenal mostly as a lone striker upfront and his performances have been rated average so far, probably due to the fact that much more than he has given is expected from an Arsenal attacker. Arsenal is known to create very many chances with their fluid style of play and average attackers have been made highest goal scorers in the league there.
Giroud, however, according to statistics, has scored more goals than more celebrated players like Fernando Torres in fewer matches for their respective clubs. Statistically, he had a largely successful 2013/2014 season in the Premier League by notching 16 goals and 8 assists in 36 appearances as Arsenal’s first choice centre forward. He began the season with a great deal of consistency especially with great assists from the very endowed Arsenal midfielders like Mesut Ozil, who came in from Real Madrid in Arsenal’s record deal worth £42m and Santi Cazorla. The former Montpellier top scorer soon became tired as the season approached the end and missed many scoring chances. Many Arsenal supporters would easily remember him for his misses than important goal he scored for the Gunners. His work rate and finishing were called into question and at a point he lost his place to inexperienced Yaya Sanogo, even in important matches like the Champions’ League second round match against Bayern Munich. Wenger, famous for giving flopping players more time till they reach their full potential, as done with Thierry Henry, Emmanuel Adebayor and Aaron Ramsey, has hinted he is keeping faith with the player by not signing another frontman, despite calls from fans to either have him replaced or get him a competitor/partner.
With this contract extension, much more would be expected from Olivier Giroud especially with the possibility of playing alongside Alexis Sanchez, Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and maybe Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, in the Arsenal attack. His height and size confers some advantage over defenders, on him and he sometimes under-utilizes his body. Alexis Sanchez provides an option as either his replacement or his partner in attack. This should take some pressure off him as some people believe, it is the over dependence on him as a lone striker that zapped the energy from him towards the end of last season.
To whom much is given, a lot more is expected in the Barclays English premier League!!!