Arsenal fans have had a lot to talk about this summer.
From the performances of current players at Euro 2012 to rumors of potential incoming transfers like Yann M’Vila and Olivier Giroud, Arsenal has been in the thick of the soccer news.
As noted by The Daily Mail, the latest news reports the move for French hit man Giroud is close to completion. With their second high-profile signing within grasp, many Gunner fans are wondering what to expect from the Ligue 1 star.
The first thing that stands out about Giroud is his size.
The 6'3" striker casts a large shadow on the pitch. To go along with the height, he has excellent leaping ability and agility for a big man. This would lead many fans to think he scores most of his goals on high balls into the box.
While he has the ability to finish with his head, what stands out on film is how he uses his frame to hold off defenders, then uses his aerial ability to set up teammates.
Arsenal fans will be delighted with the threat he poses on set pieces and crosses. It is a dimension Arsenal has sorely lacked since Sol Campbell was at his best. Giroud’s presence should help Arsene Wenger’s squad unlock the defenses who pack it in their half to reduce the space for Arsenal’s quick touch passing.
Despite his size and ability in the air, Giroud is technically solid with the ball at his feet. His ball control will allow him to integrate seamlessly into the Gunners' style of play.
While he does not have the creativeness of a Van Persie, he has enough ability to beat players one-on-one, but more importantly beat them enough to open space for himself. Wenger looks for players with excellent technique on the ball, and Giroud fits the bill.
The skill Giroud is most known for is his superb finishing. He has a thunderous left foot, but is equally adept at using his right to put the ball in the net. His resume includes a host of superb finishes from tight angles.
For all the spectacular goals Giroud nets, he also finishes a high percentage of “picking up the trash” goals. The Frenchman crashes the net for rebounds and loose balls as well as anyone in the game today. He is fearless in throwing a limb or any part of his body onto the ball to get it into the back of the net.
Arsenal fans have seen several occurrences where a cross or rebound was floating in front of goal, only to have no player able to get the final touch to it. Expect Giroud to pick up several of these net-crashing scores this season.
Getting Giroud into many of his scoring chances is his ability to read the game and make the appropriate run. The timing on his runs is also very good. With the passing ability throughout the Arsenal squad, Giroud should find himself released onto goal more often than in his time at Montpellier.
Perhaps the most underrated part of Giroud’s game is his distribution skill. He has shown the ability to link up well with teammates on both the domestic and international level.
His deft touch in finishing is also apparent in his pinpoint passing. He does a good job of getting his head up to find teammates when he has the ball on his feet. To go along with his 21 Ligue 1 goals, he dished out nine assists.
With the skill set Giroud possesses, Arsenal fans should expect great things.
The other item the fans will appreciate is his hard work. Giroud was not a schoolboy prodigy. A few years back he was honing his craft in Ligue 2. He is an effort player who has worked hard to develop his game.
The work ethic he brings to the table may be the greatest attribute he brings to London. Arsenal fans will not be disappointed.