Who would start up front for Arsenal - Giroud, Sanchez or Remy?

Giroud V Stoke

Arsenal are on the brink of signing two forwards to compete and contrast with Olivier Giroud next term but which of the potential three should play as the striker?

The Gunners are widely expected to complete the signing of Chile forward Alexis Sanchez imminently for a fee around £30 million from Barcelona where the 25-year-old has been deployed predominantly as a winger or wide-forward.

Meanwhile, reports also suggest the North Londoners could tie up an £8 million deal to bring in France striker Loic Remy from QPR to join his national team colleague Olivier Giroud at the Emirates and young compatriot Yaya Sanogo.

The Gunners have let go of Nicklas Bendtner after a decade in North London and it is clear that manager Arsene Wenger does not consider either of Lukas Podolski or Theo Walcott as options for the lone centre-forward role but which, out of the potential two new signings and Giroud, would be the best option up front?

There is also the consideration that Wenger may adopt a 4-4-2 approach as he did when he brought Sanogo on to good effect in the FA Cup Final against Hull at Wembley in May but the likelihood is the French coach will, for the most part, stick with his 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 system at Arsenal.

Giroud is the most obvious and more traditional centre-forward of the three – he is tall, strong, physically dominant in the air and on the ground, takes up intelligent positions in the box like a poacher, makes diagonal runs, and offers the Gunners a target man as an outlet for dead-ball situations.

Giroud is not remotely fast on the ground however and his technical skill leaves a lot to be desired at times, he can be clumsy and dozy, sometimes allowing the defender to draw his foul, and, above all else, is not what one would consider a world-class finisher in front of goal.

Those very attributes belong to Alexis Sanchez who can play anywhere across the forward lines, wide and even in a No.10 position as he has for Chile in the past. He is one of the most technically exceptional players in the world with the ball at his feet, he is fast, strong, skilful, dynamic, he can take the game to the opposition and his finishing is nothing short of world-class.

Yet he is more often deployed out wide where he can come inside off the flank and drag defenders out of position – in effect if he was played wide, he could create space for Giroud to operate in – but over time, Wenger may intend to covert him, as he has previously with Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie, from a winger into a centre-forward. There is not a shadow of a doubt he possesses the attributes requires.

Remy is, like Sanchez, incredibly fast and a very dangerous striker of the ball but I would expect him to be signed as an alternative to Giroud, a striker for cover and competition rather than with the intention of starting him up front every game of the season. He is, if he comes in, a replacement for and improvement on Bendtner, I suspect.

It is most likely, to begin at least, Wenger will continue to deploy Giroud up front as the lone central striker with Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez flanking him, tearing through defences and create space for the Frenchman in the six-yard box where he loves to operate and poach.

However, now Wenger will have the option of changing the setup if and when that isn’t working – he can simply take Giroud off and bring Remy or Sanogo on potentially, he can bring Sanchez in centrally and throw on Podolski on.

More than anything these potentially signings give the manager a plethora of options and combinations to open a game up and keep the opposition guessing.

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