Who Will Arsenal Replace Olivier Giroud With?

Nick Miller@NickMiller79Featured ColumnistAugust 27, 2014

Who Will Arsenal Replace Olivier Giroud With?

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Olivier Giroud looks set to miss a significant spell of the season with an ankle injury suffered in seemingly innocuous circumstances against Everton at the weekend.

    There is no definitive word on how long the French striker might be out for, but some reports, such as one by John Cross in the Daily Mirror, suggest that he could be out until the new year.

    This obviously leaves Arsenal in something of a sticky situation, as the only other specialist centre-forward they have at their disposal is the very raw Yaya Sanogo, with various other fill-ins their other options.

    Indeed, this could represent the perfect excuse for Arsene Wenger to strengthen his striking options, which looked inadequate anyway even before Giroud's injury.

    So who could replace Giroud? Here are some candidates...

Loic Remy

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    Seemingly a target for Arsene Wenger for almost as long as Salomon Kalou, a deal for Loic Remy almost seemed inevitable after news of Giroud's injury broke.

    Remy reportedly has a clause in his Queens Park Rangers contract allowing him to leave if a club in the Champions League makes a bid of around £8 million, as per the Daily Mirror, so he would at least be relatively cheap.

    Indeed, Remy wouldn't be a dreadful option, given that he can play through the middle and out wide. He scored 14 goals in 24 starts last season, and in his absence it became notable how much Newcastle relied upon him. Indeed, they only won one game after the turn of the year without Remy in their starting line-up.

    Of course, that presents a potential problem because the last thing Arsenal need to cover for an injured striker is an injury-prone striker.

    Indeed, reports that Remy's move to Liverpool, as per The Guardian, which seemed set to go through earlier in the summer, fell through because of a failed medical and will surely set alarm bells ringing.

    Perhaps the final argument against Remy's move to the Emirates is that it smacks of a cheap option, a player who is good but not quite good enough to elevate Arsenal to the level they need to be at. Even if Giroud was not injured, Arsenal need a better option up front, and Remy is at best of similar quality to his compatriot.

Edinson Cavani

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    Michel Euler/Associated Press

    Despite playing for Paris Saint-Germain, the side with more money than God and designs on European glory, Edinson Cavani has consistently been linked with a move away from the French capital this summer, such as in this report by the Daily Express.

    Perhaps PSG have decided that, after a year of relative struggle for the Uruguayan, that they want to get rid of their man, but he would undoubtedly be an upgrade on Giroud.

    Cavani has frequently been pushed out wide in Paris in order to accommodate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but when he is played in his preferred centre-forward role he is deadly, as his time at Napoli displayed rather well.

    The bad news is that Cavani would cost something around £50 million, per the Daily Express, and while Arsene Wenger has showed he is willing to spend big now, will he be quite so keen on splashing out such an enormous sum after buying Alexis Sanchez this summer?

    The money would be worth it, though. A striker of Cavani's calibre would elevate Arsenal to genuine title contenders.

Radamel Falcao

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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    Again, like Cavani, if Wenger wants to make a statement instead of simply filling in for Giroud, then Falcao would be the man.

    He has just recovered from a serious knee injury, but the Colombian has made a scoring start to his return to the Monaco side, netting two in three appearances (two of which were as a sub), including the winner against Nantes last weekend.

    The good news here is that Falcao is apparently keen to join Arsenal, according to Matt Law of The Telegraph, but perhaps only on a loan basis.

    The bad news is that such a loan could cost in the region of £20 million, with Real Madrid said to be keen on such a deal as well, per the Express, which would be tough for Arsenal to compete with.

    Still, if Falcao does move to the Bernabeu, that could open another possibility for Arsenal...

Karim Benzema

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    Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press

    Ever since his early days at Lyon, Karim Benzema has been pegged as a potential superstar, and his subsequent move to Real Madrid seemed to confirm that.

    However, there is a sense that he has never quite lived up to his potential, despite a more than respectable 112 goals in 239 appearances.

    Whether Real would be minded to let him go is questionable, even if they did bring Falcao in, because they would still only have two specialist centre-forwards.

    Indeed, the Frenchman signed a new contract earlier this summer, although given Luis Suarez penned a similar contract just a few months before forcing his way out of Liverpool, that should not necessarily be taken as a sign such a move isn't possible.

    If Falcao arrives, Madrid may need to make room in their squad.

Danny Welbeck

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    This is a move that makes perfect sense for Arsenal.

    Welbeck is a young, versatile striker who can perform a number of roles. He could be a central forward, he can play on either wing and even as an advanced midfielder.

    He has pace, his movement is excellent and perhaps most importantly, at this stage of the transfer window, he is available.

    Louis van Gaal has reportedly told the England forward that he can leave Manchester United, as per Jamie Jackson in The Guardian, leading to frenzied speculation about a potential destination.

    Of course, it would be doubtful that Van Gaal would allow Welbeck to join a team United will regard as a rival, but Juan Mata's move from Chelsea to United shows that such things are not impossible.


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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    Such is the stubbornness of Wenger and Arsenal's need for other reinforcements, particularly at the back and in defensive midfield, that they could just muddle through with what they already have.

    Indeed, this looks as if it's the most likely option at present, with the BBC's David Ornstein reporting that Wenger is happy with his current squad, even without Giroud.

    Alexis Sanchez started up front against Everton, while Lukas Podolski appears to be staying at the Emirates. Theo Walcott will return at some stage, and then there's Yaya Sanogo, who raised some hopes that he has improved with a good pre-season.

    It would be a fix-and-make-do option and probably an extremely frustrating one for Arsenal fans, but a familiar one with Wenger in charge.