Following his close-range effort to open the scoring in a tense affair against Swansea City yesterday, Olivier Giroud has now netted seven Premier League goals this term – having only started in the lone striker role on four occasions for Arsenal.
He has responded effectively in the presence of adversity and despite the constant criticism about his lack of a clinical edge in-front of goal, he is dispelling suggestions that he’s not good enough for Arsène Wenger’s men in impressive fashion.
INFOGRAPH – Giroud better than Kane, Aguero, Costa
He brings a different dimension to Arsenal’s play going forward and saying he’s a handful for opposition defences is an understatement to say the least. Increasingly willing to get involved in build-up play and intricate moves forward, he makes up for his lack of acceleration with key attack positioning and is able to use his large frame to good use too.
So how much is Giroud worth in the current market?
Having signed a contract extension earlier this week, taking a paycut into the bargain, the 30-year-old Frenchman has been an Arsenal player since the summer of 2012 and despite a clear divide between supporters as to whether he’s world-class or not, his contributions in-front of goal are not to be sniffed at.
92 goals and 39 assists in 209 club appearances for a player who was virtually unknown during the season before he joined, especially for a fee of £12m is definitely a bargain.
Transfer fees have been heavily inflated over the past few seasons but it’s evident that Arsenal have a bonafide centre forward in Giroud – one they’ve been developing for half a decade.
If they wanted to look for a new acquisition in attack who could replicate Giroud’s success, regardless of their age, they would have to cough up in excess of £25-30m..
PLAYER FOCUS – Giroud deadlier than Kane, Aguero, Costa
Plenty of media outlets are quick to praise Harry Kane on his success and the way he has shunned an unwelcome tag of the ‘one-season wonder’, but Giroud has had to do the same for a number of years now. His level of consistency in the final third has improved with time and experience, something which is evident this campaign alone.
Even when he seems to be on the periphery, Giroud’s ability to get involved with play and create a chance is unrivalled. Strikers like Kévin Gameiro and Carlos Bacca have been linked with moves to Arsenal in the past but despite hype about their goalscoring ability, Olivier is an invaluable asset worth £30m+ to the Gunners and a contract extension is testament to that.