Giroud proves he still wants to be top dog at Arsenal

Arsenal are linked with a number of quality striker ‘targets’ this summer but last summer’s signing Olivier Giroud still looks capable of competing for his place in Arsene Wenger’s team next term.

Arsenal took on Indonesia Dream Team in the first of the pre-season tour fixtures and first team regulars Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Giroud scored along with youngsters Kris Olsson, Thomas Eisfeld, and Chuba Akpom to thrash the hosts 7-0 in the friendly.

Giroud netted a brace in the second half, scoring two goals in the space of two minutes for the Gunners after coming on for Akpom just 10 minutes prior to that. The Frenchman is clearly intent on staking his claim over the role of centre-forward in Arsene Wenger’s three-pronged attack next term, despite the North Londoners linkage with names like Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney.

Giroud scored an decent tally of 17 goals across all competitions for Arsenal in his debut season this term but his return rate is still nowhere near the ratio of back-to-back Golden Boot winner Robin van Persie who the club sold to rivals and eventual Premier League champions Manchester United last summer.

Giroud took a little time to get himself settled into the Premier League and managed just 11 goals in 34 league appearances. Compared to Higuain, for example, who scored 19 goals in all competitions for Real Madrid last term and often edges closer to 30 goals per season, Giroud may have to up his game to ensure he gets selected on a regular basis by the manager.

If his performance on Sunday is anything to go by, however, the 26-year-old target man may be enough to convince the manager he doesn’t actually need to break the club’s record fee for a transfer.

Whilst the fans have been crying out all season long for the French boss to spend his ‘kitty’ this summer, deals for Higuain seem to have hit a stumbling block somewhere along the road and the expectation of a big name striker only makes the signing of one all the more difficult.

Giroud cost the North Londoners just under £10 million from Montpellier last summer where he had been the join-highest goalscorer in Ligue 1 the previous season.

Giroud must necessarily improve his goalscoring record if he intends to keep his place in the team – he almost certainly wont enjoy such a monopoly over his position as he did this term without the presence of any competition from a recognized centre-forward. The good news for Arsenal fans is it looks like he’s more than a little determined to give it his best shot.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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