Much of the early transfer talk surrounding Arsenal FC recently has revolved around them looking into ways of supplying Olivier Giroud with sufficient back-up and competition for the striker positions. At this moment in time only Nicklas Bendtner is performing this role, and clearly this is a scenario that is not working out for either party.
The likes of Karim Benzema, Fernando Llorente, Javier Hernandez and today Edin Dzeko are being linked with the move - as Arsene Wenger looks to slide into the place the final piece of what might be a silverware winning jigsaw.
It has not previously looked like a problem for Giroud, who started the season in excellent form.
But he has not scored since netting v Crystal Palace on 26th October and that has got some fans worried he is suffering from burn-out and fatigue - something which appeared apparent in his last game for the club, the 1-0 defeat against Manchester United.
It was probably his worst performance of the season so far, as first Nemanja Vidic, and then Phil Jones, dominated him throughout the 90 minutes. Giroud usually uses his muscular frame and deceptive technical ability to aplomb - holding off defenders at will.
But at Old Trafford this was not the case - as the swashbuckling defence of United roughed him up and gave him little time to consider taking the ball down on his chest or to win a header.
Giroud is currently away on international duty, as France look to topple Ukraine and make it to the World Cup in Brazil next summer.
In the build-up he has been speaking to French sports paper L’Equipe about his current form, as reported online at Le10 Sport.
Now Giroud has shown before he is not a man for mincing his words, as he proved last year when he said he got ‘pissed off’ with criticism of his performances post-Emirates arrival.
And he has chosen those words to once again show his incredulity at Manchester United’s tactics in the game, and the failure of the ref to penalise the home team:
I will not hide behind fatigue. I play a lot, it's true, but I'm not complaining. Against Manchester United, it's true, I lacked clarity… I took a lot of shots, elbows in the face. I thought it was unfair. It pissed me off. "
image: © ronnie macdonald