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22nd Mar 2015

It’s clearly time for Arsenal to replace Olivier Giroud

This is dry like Ryvita...

Nooruddean Choudry

If the last few seasons have taught us anything it’s that Arsenal’s number one priority in the summer transfer window is signing a new centre-forward.

For a team of such standing and resources it is a shocking oversight that they’ve failed to properly address the position over the last few years. They are currently making do with professional sex symbol and occasional footballer Olivier Giroud, and it’s clearly holding them back.

Manchester United have Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie – three strikers who are obviously more fashionable and high-profile than the hapless Mr Giroud. Local rivals Tottenham Hotspur can boast Harry Kane – England’s saviour, who has definitely proven himself at the highest level for long enough now – and Manchester City have Sergio Agüero, Edin Džeko, Stevan Jovetic (and Wilfried Bony).

Arsenal can’t hope to compete with their rivals if they aren’t prepared to spend big on players that look far better than Giroud in YouTube videos with a thumping Europop soundtrack. The handsome-faced Frenchman, who has scored 11 goals and provided four assists in his last 12 starts for the club is clearly the weak link in Arsenal’s current side and his faltering displays threaten to undo all the good work of his teammates.

It’s all in stark contrast to local rivals Chelsea, who wasted no time in signing a striker precisely one season after they needed one by swooping for the evergreen Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid. The nationality-swapping marksman has been in blistering form for the Stamford Bridge outfit, amassing a staggering 19 goals in all competitions thus far. This is particularly impressive as he’s only been at the club for one week in Costa years.

Giroud by contrast has only managed a paltry 17 goals after missing three months of the season through injury. It’s simply not good enough and a trendy flavour of the month alternative like Alexandre Lacazette, who has scored all his goals in the super-competitive Ligue 1, would be a far more preferable option to a player with a pathetic ratio of a goal every other game for Arsenal. Why he starts ahead of Danny Welbeck is anyone’s guess.

The harsh truth is that Wenger must remove his blinkers and rid himself of the useless Robin Thicke lookalike pronto. Scoring a match-winning brace against Newcastle, his seventh and eighth goals in six league games against the Geordies, mustn’t paper over the cracks. And neither should the fact that Giroud has now scored as many goals and provided more assists than Cristiano Ronaldo in the calendar year.

Let’s not allow ourselves to be distracted from the fact that we made up our minds about him ages ago.