Arsenal Transfer News: Olivier Giroud Departure Should Be Embraced by Gunners

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08:  Olivier Giroud of Arsenal applauds the crowd at the end of the FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Arsenal and Everton at Emirates Stadium on March 8, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Olivier Giroud has reportedly received an ultimatum from his wife, who will leave the Arsenal striker if the couple don't return to France.

As reported by Sam Adams of the Mirror and via the Sun on Sunday, an inside source suggests Jennifer Giroud is ready to call time on their relationship after the striker admitted cheating back in February:

She's agreed to take him back, but only on the condition they leave London and England.

He's desperate to save the marriage because he knows how stupid he's been - so he is going along with what she wants.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12:  (L-R) Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United and Olivier Giroud of Arsenal challenge for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on February 12, 2014 in Lo
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Giroud has proven a dedicated servant to Arsenal this season, but Arsene Wenger would be wise to offload the forward before such issues consistently hamper his performances on the pitch.

The French forward has netted 14 goals in 34 appearances across the Premier League and Champions League this campaign, per, decent numbers for a player who has been forced to lead the line by himself. He is hardworking, energetic and willing to battle, but his place may come under threat when Wenger inevitably strengthens during the summer.

Although John Cross of the Mirror confirmed Wenger isn't interested in bringing Robin van Persie back to North London, this is the stature of player the boss should outline throughout preseason. Jack Wilson of the Daily Star reports Diego Costa is a viable target, while Jamie Sanderson of the Metro throws Mario Mandzukic and Alvaro Morata's names into the hat.

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 30:  Alvaro Morata (R) of Real Madrid CF is tackled by Marc Valiente of Real Valladolid CF during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Valladolid CF at Santiago Bernabeu stadium on November 30, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

These players may never arrive, but they represent the step up in quality and emphasis on future development that Wenger should be looking to make. At 27 years old, Giroud is proving to be a useful stopgap on the road to bigger things.

Arsenal aren't known as "The Gunners" for nothing. The side is traditionally built around prolific goalscorers—the likes of Ian Wright and Thierry Henry—or players who have something special about their style of play. Dennis Bergkamp is a fine example of an individual who lacked frightening pace but was more than capable of skipping by an opponent with a unique piece of skill.

Giroud sits uncomfortably between these two types of strikers. He isn't blessed with lightning speed, but he isn't slow. He isn't particularly skillful on the ball, nor is he inept in possession. The former Montpellier striker's ability to interlink moves is a dangerous weapon for Arsenal—highlighted with his brilliant assists against Norwich and Sunderland—but he isn't the explosive striker the club has grown to adore.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28:  Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal reacts s he looks to Olivier Giroud of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's Stadium on January 28, 2014 in Southampton, England.
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

He is also reaching the peak of his powers and is likely to begin slowing down across the next few years. Wenger's team possess such a neat style and verve from the centre, it appears Giroud has the capacity to slow this down as the squad develops.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's exquisite speed tore through Tottenham's midfield during the recent win, and with it, there was a sense that Arsenal's attack could leave Giroud behind if Wenger invests properly. Not through any fault of the player, he deserves praise for his efforts this season, just because Wenger needs to aim higher alongside the advancement of major rivals across the coming years.

Paul Hayward of the Daily Telegraph summed up Giroud's play during the Spurs match, an occurrence many Arsenal fans will feel happens too often:

If the demands of Jennifer Giroud prove to be true, Wenger may count this as a blessing in disguise. He has enough off-the-field problems with Nicklas Bendtner, who is also expected to leave this summer—per an alternate Cross report—and won't welcome negative headlines created by the mistakes of his players.

Wenger showed real ambition when dropping £42 million on Ozil. He needs to continue this by significantly strengthening the Gunners' attack at the close of the season. Unfortunately for Giroud, this is likely to see his "Jack of all trades" style swapped for a specialist goalscorer, whether he returns to France or not.



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