Arsenal must replace Olivier Giroud with Mandzukic

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It was reported last week that Chelsea are set to beat Arsenal in the race to sign Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic.

However, in order for his side to become a competitive force again, Arsene Wenger must pull out all the stops to ensure the Croatia international ends up at the Emirates Stadium this summer instead.

Olivier Giroud simply isn't good enough to lead the Gunners' line; a total of 24 goals in 63 Premier League appearances is below-par for a first-choice Arsenal striker. The north London outfit will never win the Premier League title with the Frenchman as their main frontman, even if he still has his uses and should be retained as a reliable back-up option.

One man that could help fire them to the title, though, is the prolific Croatian Mandzukic, who will be deemed surplus to requirements at the Allianz Arena at the end of this season.

The 27-year-old may have scored an impressive 24 goals in 42 matches this season, but that hasn't stopped Pep Guardiola from concluding a deal with Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski. The Poland international will be Bayern Munich's first-choice striker from the start of next term, leaving Mandzukic in the proverbial wilderness and faced with an uncertain future.

But he won't be short of potential suitors willing to match his current wages in order to secure his services, particularly if he shines at the World Cup finals in Brazil this summer, with Chelsea and Arsenal already keen to make a move.

The 6ft 2in striker is one of Europe's best players in his position, and would be perfect for Arsenal's system. He is a far more clinical striker than Giroud, who has wasted countless glorious opportunities over the last two seasons, and is an all-round better target man.

Signing Mandzukic would be a real statement of intent, while Wenger can guarantee the player plenty of goalscoring opportunities with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere in the same team.

Giroud has shown himself to be another Arsenal player with a suspect mentality, while his off-field indiscretions have hardly helped his performances this season, either. He was even forced to miss the first leg of the Champions League last 16 because his mind wasn't in the right place following controversial newspaper headlines.

Mandzukic is a true professional with a winners' mentality. Arsenal need a team full of players like him to get closer to winning their first Premier League title since 2004 - and, for £20m, it'd be a step in the right direction.

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