Scouting Report: New Arsenal Striker, Olivier Giroud.

The top scorer of Ligue 1 last season, Olivier Giroud, will (barring another Juan Mata scenario) be an Arsenal player next season.

Several news outlets including some of the most reliable sources around Europe in L’Equipe, The Telegraph and the BBC have reiterated that the deal will be finalized in the coming days with the fee totaling around £12m.  It really is a bargain when you look at players like Torres being signed for ridiculous sums of money.

The reason for the low price is due to a minimum fee clause in Giroud’s contract which means his club Montpellier, have to accept an offer of £12m or more. I’m certainly not complaining. With Lukas Podolski’s arrival having been confirmed at the end of April; it appears that the blasé epidemic which was rampant in the Arsenal negotiating team last season, has been eradicated from the club’s ranks for one time only, not to win trophies, but to increase shirt sales for Arsenal plc (I’m joking).

‘And in the red corner, standing at 6 ft 3 and weighing in at 14 stone, the leading light in Montpellier’s Hollywood style title win of 2011/2012,  French Heavyweight champion ” The Charm Striker”, Olivvvvieeeeer Giroud!’

Giroud in action for France.

Well its unlikely that he’ll be another Chamakh; a player who had a very bright start to his Arsenal career but faded considerably until he became about as significant as Andy Carroll’s first touch.

The excitement for Arsenal fans is certainly at an astronomical level. Giroud’s eye for goal, beating goalkeepers with his left foot, right foot or his head makes him a player with the potential to score a lot of goals in an Arsenal shirt. Perhaps even more than he did for Montpellier; especially considering the superior quality of the Arsenal players over their Ligue 1 counterparts. With a prospective midfield behind him of M’Vila, Arteta and Wilshere, our hopes for next season are shining very brightly indeed.

So what will Giroud bring to the side? Well its unlikely that he’ll be another Chamakh; a player who had a very bright start to his Arsenal career but faded considerably until he became about as significant as Andy Carroll’s first touch. Giroud is very similar to Bayern Munich star, Mario Gomez in both playing style and looks, however lets hope he can be as productive, he certainly has the (here’s one of Arsene’s favourite words) potential to do that. So lets look at the dirty stuff ( no, not in that way):

Games: 37

Goals: 22

Assists: 9

Pass Success rate: 69.1%

Aerial duels won per game: 3.7

Man of the Match awards: 8

Key passes per game: 1.3

Dribbles per game: 0.5

Aerial success rate: 70% (the highest of any striker in Europe’s top 5 leagues.)

From these stats I think we can tell that Arsenal will have a player who can both hold the ball up and also run at players whilst providing key passes for his team mates with relatively consummate ease. Giroud is always willing to take a shot and has scored a couple of goals from outside the box this season, demonstrating his versatility as a striker. The pass success rate is very low for an Arsenal player however I would put that down to teammates perhaps not being on the same wavelength. I don’t think that will be the case at Arsenal. His dribbles per game are quite low at 0.5 however this gives an indication towards how he plays the game, predominately with his back to goal whilst not being afraid to run at players occasionally. Basically he’s a multi-talented player. I like that.

He’s a footballer? Oh, I thought he was from Westlife …

Unless Robin leaves (pray to Bergkamp he doesn’t) then Giroud is unlikely to feature as more than a squad player. I certainly don’t think that Robin should be moved from the role in which he scored 35 goals last season and Giroud’s size would make him ineffectual on the wings or behind Robin as a support striker. He’s not the play-maker type. Despite this, Giroud still weighed in with 9 assists, a sizable amount which reflects his ability to hold the ball up and lay it off to his teammates.

But Olivier Giroud is far more than just a target man. He has good all round technique which should allow him to adapt to ‘The Arsenal Way’ soon enough. His ball control is certainly above average and his tendency for the bicycle kick, which can prove to be effective on occasion showcases his confidence and athleticism, suggesting he will be an exciting addition to this Arsenal team. Who knows, with the additions of Podolski, Giroud and possibly M’Vila we might even win a trophy?

Its a long shot but I think it might be possible …

Be sure to check out @SavageGooner‘s relaunched blog at  . This guy helped launch my own blogging ‘career’ and for that reason I’m eternally grateful…

In the meantime, adios amigos and be sure to follow me on Twitter @CookieElGooner!

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  1. Scott

     /  June 14, 2012

    RVP in the hole behind Giroud and Podolski???
    Why not??

    • Could work but Robin might not want to or be as effective playing in that position making him even more discontent!

  2. jeje

     /  June 14, 2012

    I cn’t wait to see dis guy playing 4 my lovely arsenal in england.

  3. Alli Moses

     /  June 14, 2012

    I love this article. If it happens as expected, we’ll be firing from all cylinders next season. Nigel De Jong is also a reasonable addition to our squad coz he’ll add some steel to our performance in the middle of the park.

    • Thanks mate! Yeah, although he’s looked out of form during the Euro’s, I’d love to have M’Vila.

  4. Kenneth Ojo

     /  June 14, 2012

    I joz op all dis rumour turn a realiity. I giroud wil b a perfect boost in emirates stadium xpectialy whn pairin wit rvp10 yl podoski play 4rm d wing.

  5. High b gunners

     /  June 14, 2012

    With this player ‘arsenal should target two cup (fa, carling cup) and be unbeating to both and the will settle the team.

  6. John Odhiambo

     /  June 14, 2012

    Wenger’s plan is to play Van Persie in his natural position behind striker with Giroud playing as the main striker. If Van Persie quits then Wenger should go for Fernando Llorente to partner Giroud. I think Wenger should also go for Belhanda as his combination with Giroud at montpellier could be of help to arsenal.

    • I’m not sure I would want Llorente when we already have Giroud if Robin was sold. Instead we should go for a player with a similar style to van Persie, although I’m not sure he’s replaceable.


     /  June 14, 2012

    I love olivier as a striker,bcos he play well in his club champions let wait and see him play along RVP and prinz poldi

  8. plath

     /  June 27, 2012

    can’t wait for Giroud! he’s sexy too.


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