How instrumental is Giroud to The Gunners?

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It is fair to say that Olivier Giroud is coming towards the peak of his career now. Aged 27 his next three or four years are likely to be his best as a striker and he couldn’t be in a better place for them. He has started this season very well being one of the first names on the team sheet during Arsenal’s impressive start to the season. Surrounded by attacking midfielders such as Mesut Özil, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey, Giroud finds himself at the front of an incredibly talented Arsenal attack. These players are able to create plenty of chances for the striker in a game, and he has shown he is more than capable of finishing them off.

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When Arsene Wenger signed Oliver Giroud from Montpellier last year for a fee of around £9.6 million it was hoped he could continue his form that helped Montpellier to the Ligue 1 title. After only two years playing in the top flight in France it was a big step up for Giroud, and the last striker to move from France to Arsenal, Marouane Chamakh had not experienced a smooth transition. Giroud scored 11 league goals in his first year (all of them scored in London incidentally), 4 more than Chamakh had managed in his first season. It was a steady start for Giroud, and luckily Arsenal could rely on goals coming from all over the team. This year however he seems to have stepped up a gear, already notching 6 goals in the first 10 games in all competitions (including his first league goals outside of London). The 27-year-old seems a more confident man, and Wenger has shown faith in keeping Giroud as the team’s main striker.

Things could have been a lot different this season for the striker from Chambery. This summer, Wenger was expected to make a move for a striker. Suarez and Higuain were linked but neither ever came to fruition. If one of them had come in then it is unlikely Oliver Giroud would be starting as many games as he has. He has grabbed his chance however and now it seems that Arsenal are more than coping without the major signing of a striker. Özil has come in instead and has been able to almost turn Giroud into that world class striker. His chance conversion rate this season is a phenomenal 28.6%, helped by the fact Özil and others are creating better opportunities for the Frenchman. Compare this to last season’s conversion rate of 10.1% and it shows that Giroud and Arsenal are making major strides forward, and who is going to stop them?

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