Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Olivier Giroud will be the Gunners’ first-choice striker next season despite cries from the fanbase for a new front man.
Danny Welbeck’s latest long-term injury – which could seat the England striker on the sidelines for over a year – would seemingly force Arsenal to begin their search for a new lead striker. But Wenger remains confident in Giroud’s abilities to lead the Gunner’s line, replying “yes” when asked if Giroud would still be the No. 1 option up front in 2016-17.
“I believe that Danny Welbeck being out now for a long, long time we will be on the road to look for one more striker.
“After that it’s down to compete. Olivier has strong and weak moments so we have to deal with that.
“He is a bit unbelievable, he is in cycles. He scores in spells and then sometimes he scores less.”
Wenger’s faith in Giroud is exemplified by the Frenchman’s record as the only player to feature in every one of Arsenal’s Premier League games this season, finishing the campaign as the club’s top scorer with a total of 16 goals (though three of those came in the final game of the season against already-relegated Aston Villa).
The tally represents Giroud’s best ever goal return for a single season in England’s top tier.
The news that Giroud will retain his spot as Wenger’s main man will have no doubt frustrated Arsenal fans. Giroud failed to net in the Premier League between January 13 and May 8 as the Gunners waved goodbye to their hopes of winning the title race.
Due to his wild inconsistency, many Arsenal fans have been hoping to seeing the Frenchman drop to bench, if not leave the club – especially if it paved the way for the arrival of a genuine world-class striker- but Wenger’s comments now seem to have ruled out any such prospect.
It’s been obvious to every spectator that Arsenal need a more prolific primary striker than Giroud if they’re to mount a serious title challenge. The 2015-16 champions, Leicester City, had a main striker in Jamie Vardy who netted 24 goals this season, while Diego Costa scored 20 last term as Chelsea won the title:
Arsenal have been frequently linked to the talents of Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, a player who could almost guarantee at least 20 Premier League goals a season, the type of return needed by a main striker to constitute a title-winning side.
Based on Wenger’s comments, it seems he has no interest in mounting a title challenge next season. Arsenal’s shrewd boss will likely only enter the transfer market to find back-up for the Frenchman rather than a player who could potentially challenge and eclipse him.
Enjoy next season Arsenal fans!