There was speculation surrounding the Frenchman’s position at the Emirates Stadium in the summer, with Alexandre Lacazette joining the club to add depth to the attacking positions. Speaking to French TV station Canal Plus (h/t Sky Sports), Giroud revealed he did consider a potential departure.
"I had the opportunity to leave [Arsenal]," the 31-year-old said. "I was very close to another English club, Everton. But I think I made the best choice."
Giroud struggled to get regular starts last season at Arsenal in the Premier League, with Alexis Sanchez utilised at the point of the attack. With Danny Welbeck starting the season well and Lacazette shining early in his Gunners career, the Frenchman appears a long way down the pecking order at this point.
Nevertheless, when he did get on the pitch the former Montpellier man did tend to make an impact, earning a reputation as something of a super-sub, per BBC Sport:
BBC Sport @BBCSport
Super sub. Olivier Giroud has scored seven Premier League goals as a substitute since August 2016. https://t.co/awtEIQQAVa https://t.co/3umCqCmS6d2017-8-11 20:33:41
Even so, at this late stage in his career, it’s disappointing to see a player of his calibre sat on the sidelines most weeks.
Giroud may not be the most dynamic forward, but he has many other assets to his game. He’s exceptional with his back to goal and powerful in the air, and as his scorpion-kick goal against Crystal Palace showed last season, he is also adept at conjuring moments of sheer inspiration.
But he’s not started a single league game in the 2017-18 Premier League. Per James Benge of the Evening Standard, not doing so has cost him an international spot:
James Benge @jamesbenge
Giroud drops to bench for Lacazette in France XI. This was his fear when mulling Arsenal future over summer.2017-10-7 17:43:35
Should he remain on the fringes until January, it’ll be intriguing to see if Giroud will be tempted by a transfer elsewhere.
Not only would he be getting regular football in what should be the peak years of his career, he’d remind France manager Didier Deschamps what he is capable of in the buildup to the summer’s FIFA World Cup.
Gunners Linked With Miguel Almiron
In the piece, it’s suggested the Serie A outfit will bid around £18 million for the 23-year-old, who has shone in his first season in Major League Soccer. It’s reported that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is considering strengthening in midfield, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sold to Liverpool and Mesut Ozil out of contract at the end of the season.
The Paraguay international would be an exciting addition, as he’s been a crucial part of the Atlanta since joining the club.
As noted by Paul Carr of ESPN, there aren’t many players in MLS who are capable of creating and scoring as often as Almiron:
Paul Carr @PCarrESPN
Miguel Almirón has 9 goals & 13 assists this @MLS season. Only other player to hit both marks this year: Lee Nguyen (10 goals, 15 assists).2017-9-25 17:41:48
Of course, the Premier League or Serie A would represent a massive step up for the Paraguayan. Even so, in his short spell in the United States, he has showcased the technique, composure and adaptability to fit in anywhere in world football.
Arsenal will want clarity on Ozil’s situation before they move for any midfield options in the summer, you'd sense. Almiron wouldn’t immediately improve this Gunners team, but with the right guidance, he could be a major asset in the future.