L’Equipe say they find Arsenal’s transfer strategy bizarre, after Olivier Giroud joined Chelsea on deadline day.
Thursday’s edition of the French paper says “we can laugh” at Giroud’s decision to swap Arsenal’s bench for another.
The striker clearly wants to play, but he’s only slightly more likely to do so with the Blues. Alvaro Morata remains their starting striker when fit, and I seriously doubt the Frenchman will change that.
Then L’Equipe turn on Arsenal.
They write: “At €20m, the French international centre-forward is worth less on the English market than Guido Carrillo, who moved from Monaco to Southampton for €22m.
“We cannot understand the strategy of Arsenal, who spent the season strengthening its direct competitors in the race to qualify for the Champions League. They sold Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool in August 2017, Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United and Giroud to Chelsea this winter.”
When you put it like that, it’s difficult to defend the Gunners.
The reality is that two of those players were leaving for rivals this summer anyway. Sanchez and Oxlade-Chamberlain wanted to leave Arsenal, so it was sell or end up with nothing.
Giroud’s situation was a bit different. The Gunners didn’t need to move him on, and he played well in his cameo appearances this season.
Unfortunately, selling him was reportedly the only way to convince Borussia Dortmund to let go of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Then Dortmund could take Michy Batshuayi from Chelsea, which Antonio Conte would allegedly only allow if they got the Frenchman.
Under those circumstances, again it made sense to let the player go, even to a rival. It was probably less of a ‘transfer strategy’ and more a case of damage limitation.
Hopefully, Arsenal won’t have to sell any more important players to rivals in future as a result.