Arsenal are reportedly preparing to spend up to £100million this summer with a striker a top priority for manager Arsene Wenger.
The Gunners have been heavily reliant on the services of France international Olivier Giroud as their only senior recognised centre-forward this season. The 27-year-old arrived at the Emirates in the summer of 2012 as Robin van Persie was departing for Manchester United.
While Giroud has been a reliable and effective option up front, there is no doubt Arsene Wenger could use another option to the Frenchman who has young Yaya Sanogo, who has yet to open his account for the North Londoners, as his only replacement at present.
It was clear from the club’s activity in the transfer market last summer that they recognise the need for another option up front in their pursuit of Gonzalo Higuain who ultimately signed for Napoli. The Gunners opted instead, in something of a change of plan, to sign his former teammate at Real Madrid Mesut Ozil for a club-record fee of £42.4 million in September last year.
I have discussed previously, with regard to the reported £100 million Wenger could be handed to spend on new additions this summer, of the obvious requirement for a backup goalkeeper to replace Lukasz Fabianski and a seasoned right-back to replace Bacary Sagna as well as perhaps a centre-back and a defensive midfielder which, if Wenger brought all of those in, he could be left with, for example, around £40million or £50million to bring in a new striker.
That kind of money could get the Gunners a player like Karim Benzema, Jackson Martinez, or perhaps even Edinson Cavani, but what would become of Giroud should a player of that caliber come in?
The player has been accustomed to playing in almost every single game for the past two seasons since joining the club and I very much doubt he will relish a rest on the bench on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, his confidence has grown this term and subsequently his form has improved. He scored a decent tally of 22 goals and made 12 assists in all competitions this term but would he still have the same level of confidence if he was under pressure or ousted from the team by the presence of a world-class option ahead of him?
His contract with the club runs until 2017, so Arsenal are in no danger of losing the player on a free transfer if he were to become unsettled. But we have seen this term how Lukas Podolski has grown frustrated over his lack of opportunity to start in the line up and I wonder having disgruntled players around in the squad could unsettle the dressing room at the Emirates where a very close knit group of players appear very well bonded together.
Ultimately, it would be foolish for Arsenal to sell Giroud this summer. After all, the whole point of bringing in another striker is to have another option and the Frenchman has to date shown an exemplary attitude and application. I just wonder whether, over time, he will feel that his opportunities are limited and perhaps consider moving a wise idea in the coming transfer windows.