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.
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.
Should Arsenal sell Olivier Giroud this summer?
The French forward has netted 14 goals in 34 appearances across the Premier League and Champions League this campaign, per WhoScored.com, 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.
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.
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:
Giroud has been a passenger in this game. Has lost just about every 50-50 ball and looks weighed down. Big problem area for Arsenal.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) March 16, 2014
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.