Connect with us

Opinion

Injury Blow To Olivier Giroud Will Dampen Arsenal’s Top Four Chances

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is set to miss three-to-four months after suffering a left tibia fracture last weekend against Everton.

Oliver Giroud
Oliver Giroud

Germany player Andre Schuerrle (9) battles for the ball with France player Olivier Giroud during the quarterfinal match in the 2014 World Cup at Estadio Do Maracana. Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is set to miss three-to-four months after suffering a left tibia fracture last weekend against Everton.

Giroud is crucial to the Gunners’ cause. The powerful Frenchman scored 16 goals in 36 Premier League games last season. He recorded 22 goals in 51 appearances in all competitions.

Manager Arsene Wenger said that Giroud could return to action in December.

“Giroud had surgery for a broken tibia and he will be out for three to four months on the competitive side,” Wenger said during Wednesday’s press conference. “He’ll be capable to play again in the Premier League at the end of December.”

Even had Giroud remained healthy for the entire season, it’s clear that Arsenal requires further strengthening at striker. Arsenal managed 68 goals in last season’s Premier League campaign. Now, they’ll have to cope without their “top gun” for an extended period.

Giroud’s long-term absence may not have any bearing on the future of forward Lukas Podolski. Should Wenger receive the right offer, he could allow the German to leave the Gunners.

Celebrated summer signing Alexis Sanchez is better suited to play on the wing than centrally. Wenger would be forcing a square peg into a round hole by playing Sanchez at striker. Sanchez produced breathtaking performances on the wing while at Barcelona.

Should Podolksi be sold, Arsenal must sign at least one new striker before the transfer window closes on September 1. Raw 21-year-old French striker Yaya Sanogo is light on experience. Same can be said about Joel Campbell. Having spent the past three seasons on loan across Europe, the 22-year-old Costa Rican is unproven in the Premier League.

QPR striker Loic Remy, Swansea’s Wilfried Bony and Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck are among possible transfer targets.

Remy was previously set to sign for Liverpool in late July. The French striker failed a medical at Liverpool after the Reds triggered a £8.5 million release clause, causing Liverpool to pull out of the deal. Remy would make an ideal capture for the Gunners, should they meet his release clause and Arsenal doctors deem him medically fit to sign. He is tremendously quick, agile and is a surefire finisher. Remy enjoyed tremendous success on loan at Newcastle last season, scoring 14 goals in 26 Premier League appearances.

Wenger has his work cut out for him over the next couple of days. In addition to their crisis at striker, Arsenal must sign a quality holding midfielder. Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin and Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira are two midfielders that could be on Wenger’s radar.

ARSENAL AND SPURS TO FIGHT FOR FOURTH?

Competition for top four places is going to be fierce. Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton and Manchester United are all capable of finishing in the top four. Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea appear equipped to maintain their status as top four finishers. Should the trio live up to expectations, a tug of war for the right to finish fourth could develop between Arsenal and Tottenham.

North London rivals Tottenham have been transformed under new manager Mauricio Pochettino. In contrast to years past, Spurs haven’t splashed the cash wildly this summer. Pochettino has been tasked with getting the most out of Tottenham’s underperformers recruited by previous manager Andre Villas-Boas.

The Argentine exceeded expectations during his previous spell at Southampton. Last season, Pochettino guided the Saints to an improbable eighth-place finish in his first full season at St. Mary’s. His revolution at Spurs has already taken shape quickly. Pochettino has brought attractive, attacking football to White Hart Lane.

Spurs have begun the young season in scintillating form – taking a maximum six points from their opening two Premier League matches. Last weekend, Spurs smashed London rivals QPR 4-0.

All signs point to a dogfight between Tottenham and Arsenal in the race for the top four. At the moment, Spurs are better equipped to finish above their long-time rivals.

WEEK THREE PREMIER LEAGUE PREDICTIONS:

Last week’s predictions can be viewed here.

 

MAN UNITED AT BURNLEY (Saturday, 7:45 AM Eastern Time)

Prediction: Man United 2-0 Burnley.

STOKE CITY AT MAN CITY (Saturday, 10:00 AM Eastern Time)

Prediction: Man City 3-1 Stoke.

CRYSTAL PALACE AT NEWCASTLE (Saturday, 10:00 AM Eastern Time)

Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Palace.

SUNDERLAND AT QPR (Saturday, 10:00 AM Eastern Time)

Prediction: QPR 2-1 Sunderland.

WEST BROM AT SWANSEA (Saturday, 10:00 AM Eastern Time)

Prediction: Swansea 2-1 West Brom.

STOKE CITY AT MAN CITY (Saturday, 10:00 AM Eastern Time)

Prediction: Southampton 2-0 West Ham.

CHELSEA AT EVERTON (Saturday, 12:30 PM Eastern Time)

Prediction: Everton 2-1 Chelsea.

HULL CITY AT ASTON VILLA (Sunday, 8:30 AM Eastern Time)

Prediction: Hull 1-1 Villa.

LIVERPOOL AT TOTTENHAM (Sunday, 8:30 AM Eastern Time)

Prediction: Liverpool 3-2 Spurs.

ARSENAL AT LEICESTER CITY (Sunday, 11:00 AM Eastern Time)

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Leicester.

Click to comment

More in Opinion