Everton still desperately need an additional striker - preferably one in the traditional target man mold. They’ve been linked with, among others, Olivier Giroud, Islam Slimani, Christian Benteke, and Edin Dzeko.
Throughout the process, Giroud has always seemed the most likely signing, and also the best fit for the side given his current ability and the probable transfer fee. Replacing Romelu Lukaku was never going to be easy, but a strike force of Giroud, Wayne Rooney, and Sandro Ramirez would be an excellent start.
Wenger’s comments sent the tabloids into a tizzy. The Mirror opened with a headline of “Arsene Wenger says Olivier Giroud has made his mind up on his Arsenal future”. The Liverpool Echo led with “Everton are set to miss out on Olivier Giroud”.
Here’s what the long time Arsenal manager actually said.
Giroud fancies the competition. As a manager, you have him on your back, wanting to play.
He fights hard, you know. I like the way he responds to what’s happening. He is focused and determined and showed that on this tour.
If we read those quotes without the context of a sensationalized headline, do they come across as a manager speaking about a player who is certain to stay? Someone who is going to fight for his place, as the saying goes?
Olivier Giroud “fancies the competition” and “fights hard” because he’s an accomplished, professional footballer.
Despite being behind Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette in Wenger’s depth chart, Giroud is still talented enough to play for France, and is still wildly productive in the Premier League.
In short, there’s no story here. Arsene Wenger has rightly praised his player, and Olivier Giroud continues to put in work no matter which team’s shirt is on his back.
In a World Cup year, Giroud knows that Arsenal, as currently constructed, won’t offer him enough opportunities to get into Didier Deschamps’ international side.
Don’t be surprised if come August 31, the big Frenchman is donning royal blue.