Olivier Giroud exhibits all the intangibles a target forward needs, and should be on every club's wishlist this summer. The 25-year-old Frenchman has all the tools to become one of the top strikers in the world.
Though many will not have seen Giroud, they may get their chance at this summer's European Championships. He has only played three times for Les Bleus, grabbing one goal in their recent friendly against Germany.
Giroud's domestic form has turned heads, as he has tallied 16 goals in 24 matches this season, while setting up another seven goals.
At 6'3'', Giroud is prolific with his head, and his ability to bring the ball down and hold it up is as good as Arsenal's Robin Van Persie or Chelsea's Didier Drogba. Yes, those are comparisons to two of the best strikers in Europe, but Giroud is a very similar player and a well-kept secret. The Frenchman isn't just a big man to lump the ball to, but he also has a fantastic left foot, as well as the pace to go around a centre-back or strike from long range.
Giroud has worked his way up from lower league French football over the past few years. In 2009-10, he netted 21 goals in France's Ligue 2, convincing Montpellier to buy him upon their return to Ligue 1. In his first Ligue 1 season, Giroud notched 12 goals as Montpellier staved off relegation. This season, he is one of the reasons Montpellier is flying high in Ligue 1, and a big move is definitely on the horizons for the target striker.
Arsenal seems to be linked with everyone this season, and Giroud is no different. He would be a ready replacement for Van Persie if the Dutchman decides to move. However, he would also be a fantastic addition to the Gunners if Van Persie decides to stay. PSG, Lille and Marseille have also been linked with the Frenchman, and would be alternatives if Giroud chooses to stay on French soil. Though Montpellier is near the top of Ligue 1, they aren't one of the big clubs, but Giroud may be influenced to stay with the club if they make the Champions League or win Ligue 1.
This week Liverpool have been linked with the Frenchman with a proposed $22.5 million deal.
One scouting website has Giroud evaluated at $16 million, though, if Javier Pastore cost $52.5 million a season ago, Giroud should be much higher. However, the only club that will pay inflated rates is PSG, and they won't pay another French club over-the-odds. If Montpellier can get over $16 million for Giroud, it will be a fantastic piece of business by a small French club that originally paid $2.7 million for his services.