With Olivier Giroud once again struggling for game time this season and the World Cup in Russia next year, could the France international be heading for the exit sooner rather than later?
Giroud is yet to make a start in the Premier League this season and while he’s been given the nod in Europa League and Carabao Cup matches, it’s not enough.
Alexandre Lacazette started ahead of the 31-year-old during France’s 1-0 victory over Bulgaria on Saturday and did well with Antoine Griezmann hailing his performance post-match.
France coach, Didier Deschamps, suggested at the end of September that Giroud’s lack of minutes on the pitch for Arsenal could impact his chances of playing for his country, so being benched probably didn’t come as much of a shock.
“This is not ideal. his playing time is reduced,” said Deschamps.
“He plays the Europa League. I will not take away from him what he did with us, he has very good statistics, but I would prefer him to be in a club where he plays almost all games.
“He made the decision to stay at Arsenal. It’s his choice. It can have consequences like all other players.”
With this in mind, could Big Sexy already be eyeing an exit?
The striker has under two years left on his contract and turned 31 on 30 September. At the moment, he’s not only getting a serious lack of minutes but he’s not finding the back of the net.
So far this season he’s scored just twice and one of those was a penalty against BATE Borisov in the Europa League to mark his 100th goal for the Gunners. He’s not scored from open play since the opening game of the season when he put Arsene Wenger’s side 4-3 up against Leicester.
Last term, while still struggled for starts (11 starts, 18 subs) he was scoring regularly. In fact, with 12 goals and four assists, he was one of Arsenal’s most useful players per minute. In the Premiership, he contributed to a goal every 74.6 minutes.
Even at that level, the big guy was understandably anxious for game time and admittedly considered leaving in the summer. He even revealed that he was very close to a move to Everton.
According to David Ornstein from the BBC, the Gunners were fine with this and let other clubs know they were willing to do business.
However, the former Montpellier man revealed that something in his heart and soul had made his stay… I wouldn’t be surprised if he regrets this now.
Everton were the main club reportedly interested in Giroud during the transfer window and they’re being linked again with a move in January. This time, I wouldn’t be surprised if the striker takes them up on the offer. They’ve failed to replace Romelu Lukaku after his £75m move to Manchester United and therefore need a bloke up top to do the business. With regular starts, Giroud can and will be that guy.
If he leaves a move to the Toffees – or anywhere – until the summer, it could be too late and he may find himself barely getting a look-in during what could be his final ever World Cup. He needs to move in January if he wants to have the best chance.
I’m a huge fan of Giroud and seeing him leave Arsenal will be a shame from a personal point of view but at the moment, without his super-sub goals, the club are getting very little use out of him and he’s getting very little use out of the club.
Everton allegedly plan to offer £40m despite previous reports that they won’t be returning for the striker. As we’ve learned from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s move to Merseyside, £40m for a player you’re hardly using is pretty good business if you ask me.
I’m sure Giroud still has a solid few years ahead of him and with game time I’m sure he can continue to bang in the goals like he once did for us. However, at the moment, as much as we would like it to be, that’s not possible at Arsenal.