Arsenal: Where to Without Olivier Giroud?


Jul 26, 2014; Harrison, NJ, USA; General view of the field during the first half of a game between the New York Red Bulls and Arsenal at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

If there’s one word that has been synonymous with Arsenal for the past eighteen months, it’s injury. In 2013, Mesut OzilAaron RamseyTheo WalcottJack WilshereLukas Podolski and the list goes on. This season has already seen Kieran Gibbs and Mikel Arteta put out for two weeks.

The most recent casualty may be the most devastating for the Gunners, however. Olivier Giroud came on at halftime in Saturday’s Premier League tie vs. Everton and breathed a new life into Arsenal. He went on to score the point saving goal in the ninetieth minute for the Gunners, sparing them from defeat at Goodison Park. In the ninety-fourth minute, however, tragedy struck. In an on-ball no contact injury, Giroud broke his tibia, sidelining him until January of 2015.

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It has been the opinion of myself and many other fans of the Gunners that Arsenal has been in need of a world-class striker for years now.  Think back to the great Arsenal teams that Arsene Wenger put together in the early 2000’s. The consistency there was, in my opinion, the greatest striker of all-time, Thierry Henry. Then came along Robin van Persie, who was magisterial for the Gunners.

So, the question is: Whom should Arsene Wenger open the wallet for?

Behind Olivier Giroud are 22-year-old Joel Campbell and 21-year-old Yaya Sanogo. Combined, the two have started less than five matches in the Premier League and severely lack the experience needed. Another alternative is moving Alexis Sanchez or Theo Walcott to the center forward position. Which, in either case, hasn’t looked well for the Gunners.

So, why not? Arsenal has the funds, they always have. With such a complete team, one has to believe that the time is now to go out and get that last piece of the puzzle. In my opinion there are two routes that Arsenal should go down. One is a cheaper route, where Wenger could refine a young player with experience into his own striker. The second, a world-class goalscorer who would cost almost three times as much. The two strikers? Danny Welbeck of Manchester United and Edinson Cavani of Paris Saint-Germain, respectively.

The contrast here is age and money. Danny Welbeck would be a cheap £16 million at the age of 23, while Edinson Cavani would come for around £50 million at the age of 27. Back to the question of whom, I believe it to obvious.

Danny Welbeck is a quality striker who has had little playing time to prove himself at Manchester United. He’s a long and tall player at 6’1″, but also has the pace to run in behind defenders and cause a havoc. Scoring 20 times in 90 appearances for United and 8 in 26 for England, he’s shown that he has the tools to become a world-class striker. He just needs the guiding hand of the man who cultivated Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie into world-class strikers.

Whether or not a move is going to be made, no one knows. Arsene Wenger has his own ways of doing things and some of those ways we just can’t understand. However, if one thing has reigned true in his time at Arsenal, it’s that we must trust in “Le Professeur.”