Arsenal Rumors: Gunners Trying to Swap Marouane Chamakh for Olivier Giroud

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2012

Marouane Chamakh could be used as bait in a deal for Olivier Giroud
Marouane Chamakh could be used as bait in a deal for Olivier GiroudClive Brunskill/Getty Images

Metro has cited reports in France which claim Arsenal have offered Marouane Chamakh a sum thought to be £6.4 million for Montpellier's prolific striker Olivier Giroud.

It seems Arsenal believe they can tempt the newly-crowned Ligue 1 champions into parting with one of their star assets by offering a ready-made replacement.

Chamakh excelled in French football as a member of Bordeaux's 2009/10 title winning team. However, he has stagnated at Arsenal after a promising start to life in the EPL.

Arsenal have been linked with Giroud several times this season and could be set to pursue their interest and lure the 25-year-old aerial powerhouse to North London. Adding a striker as bullish, combative and proficient in the air like Giroud may be a smart idea.

The Gunners often lack a sufficient aerial threat or a target man who can play effectively with his back to goal. Having a focal point for an outlet ball could encourage Arsenal to become decisive defensively, knowing they can escape pressure simply by punting a long pass to a striker who will hold up the ball.

This option can be particularly useful against teams content to pack the midfield and clog the short passing lanes, a tactic which often leaves Arsenal short of ideas in response. Having a powerful forward hold up the ball and lay off passes to Arsenal's host of attack-minded midfielders could create a more balanced playing style.

However, that kind of player needs to be play centrally, which is where Giroud operates best. He has netted 21 goals in Montpellier's spectacular campaign and is a natural focal point for the attack.

Yet in Arsenal's hybrid 4-3-3, Robin van Persie occupies the clear central berth. Signing a big man and forcing him out wide does that player no favours. Nor does moving van Persie out of the areas where does the most damage.

Of course any interest in Giroud could be a signal of Arsenal's concern that van Persie has yet to sign a new deal. It could also be an intention to adapt the current formation to accommodate two central strikers.

Arsene Wenger is a known fan of Giroud, and with Metro also claiming the front man has a £12.8 million release clause, he represents the kind of value Arsenal must seek in this transfer window.