It was not long ago that Olivier Giroud was driving Arsenal towards the Premier League title. But, with the Frenchman now having gone 14 league games without a goal, his terrific form has faded, just like the Gunners’ hopes of winning the crown.
It has been nearly four years since Giroud replaced Robin van Persie at the Emirates Stadium, and although he has had his moments, it looks like he will never replicate the same feats as the departed Dutchman.
At the start of the season, Giroud was one of Arsenal’s best players, and alongside Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, the trio were meant to help the club challenge for honours on all fronts.
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However, his impressive displays have given way to poorer performances, with the latest coming in the goalless draw against relegation-threatened Sunderland at the weekend.
The 29-year-old was abject, given the task of leading the line but doing little to dispel the tidal wave of criticism coming his way from both supporters and pundits alike.
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His last goals came nearly two months ago, during the 4-0 victory over Steve Bruce’s Hull City in the FA Cup, but the last time he found the net in the league was during the thrilling 3-3 draw with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Anfield back in January.
With Anthony Martial, Antoine Griezmann and Alexandre Lacazette all enduring a good season, it now means Giroud faces a huge task to secure his place in Didier Deschamps’ squad for the European championships in the summer.
Giroud helped Montpellier win the Ligue 1 title in 2012, and was expected to take his goal scoring exploits to England when Van Persie was allowed to leave Arsenal for Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United.
But four years on from his arrival, and he is still yet to sufficiently replace the Dutchman with his seasonal best tally of 22 goals coming in the 2013/2014 season.
Arsenal fans have supported him the best they could but still clamour for the ruthlessness of Van Persie or Thierry Henry, with the latter delivering the Gunners’ last league title nearly twelve years ago.
With Giroud failing to convince, and question marks also lingering over the future of Theo Walcott, Wenger will need to invest in a prolific centre-forward when the transfer window reopens at the end of the season.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to leave Paris Saint-Germain, and could be joined out of the exit door by Edinson Cavani, who both are deemed upgrades on Giroud.
The Frenchman has tried his best but his transfer looks likely to be one that never truly pays off.
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