Very recently, Arsenal skipper Robin van Persie declared that he does not intend on staying with the Gunners. Today, Sky Sports reported that Robin van Persie didn't agree with the way Arsenal should be moving forward. This will come as a huge shock and disappointment to his fans and teammates.
So with this, the longest van Persie can stay at Arsenal is until the end of the 2012-13 season.
But Arsenal will be able to move on. They lost former captain Cesc Fábregas and Samir Nasri in one summer after finishing fourth in the Premier League. The next season, Arsenal finished third, even better than the previous season.
The Gunners are a mentally tough team, and they have what it takes to get over van Persie's departure.
So far into this summer's transfer window, Arsenal has acquired Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. Neither of these two players will be able to act as a replacement for the Dutchman, but they can certainly help the Gunners.
Last season, Giroud managed to help Montpellier win Ligue 1, scoring 21 goals in 36 appearances in league play for the French side. Lukas Podolski managed to score 18 goals in 29 appearances for Cologne, who ended up getting relegated.
Now, both of these attacking talents will be part of the Arsenal mission.
Lukas Podolski is likely to play on the left wing, with Mikel Arteta in the middle and Theo Walcott or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out on the right flank.
This leaves Olivier Giroud to play up front, where van Persie left a spot open for the Frenchman to take.
With this, Olivier Giroud's importance and role within this team has augmented drastically. He will be relied upon quite a bit to score goals for Arsenal this season.
In an interview at Arsenal (embedded here), Giroud said that in the coming season, he would like to score a few goals with the Gunners.
I doubt that he will be scoring "a few" goals for the North London club next season. Giroud has an eye for goal, from his head and feet.
This player will be forced to adapt to the Premier League faster than he might have wished, but it will help the team and himself in the long run.
In the summer of 2010, Arsenal brought in Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh from Ligue 1 club Bordeaux. In the beginning of the season, van Persie saw a big part of his season go down the drain with an injury and this gave Chamakh the opportunity to prove himself.
He actually played quite well; he was scoring on a consistent basis for the Gunners, and they were getting wins.
However, when van Persie returned, Chamakh was put on the bench for many matches, and while van Persie's form started to flourish, the complete opposite happened to Chamakh. His form started to dip, and he was scoring goals much less consistently when he played.
Olivier Giroud will need to adapt fast if he is to be successful in the Premier League. Chamakh managed to do well initially, but couldn't keep up his efforts consistently. Giroud will need to do what Chamakh didn't. With his skill set, this isn't impossible for the Frenchman.
In his interview he said that he will need a bit of time to adapt, but he feels that it shouldn't be a problem. There are a few other Frenchmen at Arsenal, so he feels that it can help him in his course.
This is a good sign, as it shows that he is ready to take on the challenge that the Premier League poses with its physicality.
He also has the weapons to do well at this club; he is quite tall, 1.92 meters. He has the height to get above many of the Premier League's defenders. Arsenal's right back, Bacary Sagna, sends in many crosses, so with someone tall like Giroud more of the crosses can be converted into goals.
In conclusion, all this pressure put on Giroud to perform will bring out the best in him.
We have already seen him score many goals and help his team win the Ligue 1.
However, can he replicate his Ligue 1 success with Arsenal in England? If so, how long would it take the Frenchman to reach that point?
So, how do you think Giroud will perform with Arsenal next season?
Thanks for reading!