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Has Olivier Giroud replaced Robin Van Persie?

Arsenal's Giroud reacts with team-mates Gibbs and Podolski after missing a scoring chance during their English Premier League soccer match in London

Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud (C) reacts with team-mates Kieran Gibbs (L) and Lukas Podolski (R) after missing a scoring chance against Norwich City during their English Premier League soccer match at Emirates Stadium in London April 13, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) NO USE WITH UNAUTHORIZED AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA, FIXTURE LISTS, CLUB/LEAGUE LOGOS OR “LIVE” SERVICES. ONLINE IN-MATCH USE LIMITED TO 45 IMAGES, NO VIDEO EMULATION. NO USE IN BETTING, GAMES OR SINGLE CLUB/LEAGUE/PLAYER PUBLICATIONS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS


When Robin Van Persie left Arsenal for Manchester United last summer, an understandable void was left in the Dutchman’s absence.

His replacement, Olivier Giroud, has scored 17 goals so far this season and provided 13 assists as well. But has his first season been a success? And has he proved he’s the man to replace Van Persie?

Those statistics would suggest he has settled into life in the Premier League very well, but the truth is that he’s nowhere near the level of Van Persie. In fairness to the 26-year-old not many are, but as soon as he made his debut at The Emirates, there was just something unconvincing about the Frenchman.

Firstly, he is not an Arsenal kind of player whatsoever. In the Arsene Wenger era, Arsenal’s strikers have all been fast, technical and lethal in front of goal: from Nicolas Anelka to Thierry Henry right through to Van Persie. Giroud is simply not that kind of player. He lacks pace, does not have much guile and misses a lot of chances in games.

In a lot of ways he is just a French version of Andy Carroll. That is not actually meant as a criticism, it just means he has his limitations as a soccer player. He is excellent in the air, has an underrated left foot and does have the knack of scoring some important goals; he’s just not right for Arsenal.


Arsenal’s French striker Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Reading at the Emirates Stadium in north London, England, on March 30, 2013. AFP PHOTO/IAN KINGTON “ RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. ” (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

If Wenger wants his side to start competing for Premier League and Champions League honours again he has to buy a striker superior to Giroud. He is a player who get you 15 to 20 goals a season, which for a top team isn’t spectacular, and he is a good squad player to bring on in games to hold the ball up and help out defensively from corners.

Giroud is a likeable player who works hard for the team, but he is most certainly not the solution for Arsenal in terms of replacing their former hero.