Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has confirmed that the Gunners will be recruiting a new striker in the summer and he is looking forward to having competition for a place in the starting XI next season.
Far from being worried about being overlooked by Arsene Wenger, Giroud believes that the Arsenal manager really needs to have greater options in attack if the team are going to improve on the FA Cup victory last season. The France international was effectively the only viable centre-forward option last season, as Wenger did not seem to trust Podolski in role, the other natural strikers were an inexperienced Yaya Sanogo and the - recently released - misfit Nicklas Bendtner, while Theo Walcott was injured for most of the season.
While defensively the Emirates Stadium club were as sound as they have been for a number of years, it was an uncharacteristic lack of attacking potency that derailed a Premier League title challenge that saw them top the table longer than any other. Wenger's lack of options meant that chances to rest Giroud were few and far between, resulting in the former Montpellier man looking very tired in the latter part of the season.
"We need another striker. Great clubs have several good strikers, who compete with each other."
Few would contend with the notion that Arsenal require greater depth in the centre-forward position, not to mention the lack of penetrative pace and players trying to get beyond the defence when both Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were injured. A speedy option up front appears to be what Wenger requires, though, knowing the French tactician's purchasing habits, they will likely have to be comfortable in a number of positions.
Giroud has shown flashes of genius in his time at the Emirates Stadium club - his goal against West Ham was Dennis Bergkamp-esque - and while it has gone some way to convince people that some improvement could see him develop into a fearsome striker, they have also helped to highlight his limitations. He is not particularly quick, he can often get crowded out by defences and if his finishing improves even a small amount he would score a lot more goals.
His various assists have been punctuated with some sublime touches and you feel that competition with a new striker would not only spur him on, but also allow him to develop a partnership with a fellow frontman that could provide Arsenal greater cohesion in the final third. Add to this a returning Walcott and Mesut Özil with a season of English football under his belt, the Gunners could well have a recipe for success for next season.
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