The French forward’s quality has been the subject of near constant debate since he first joined the club in the summer of 2012, with his doubters often suggesting that while Giroud is clearly a very good player he is not of the quality required to lead the line for a title-winning side.
Even Arsene Wenger seems to have acknowledged that. After several summers of pursuing upgrades for Olivier Giroud, most notably the likes of Luis Suarez, Gonzalo Higuain and Edinson Cavani, the Arsenal manager turned to Alexis Sanchez at the start of the season.
Whilst the Chilean has been Wenger’s usual first-choice striker Giroud has continued to be a crucial contributor for Arsenal, scoring 12 goals in 28 games. That has left him within sight of his 100th for Arsenal and the 30-year-old believes he can reach his target this season.
He told L’Equipe: “My aim is to score my 100th goal this season for Arsenal. I have 94. That would give me an average of 20 goals a season with Arsenal. Not bad, eh?”
Even if Giroud doesn’t reach his ton before the end of the season he will have left an indelible mark on Arsenal’s season courtesy of his spectacular scorpion kick goal in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day.
Arguably the greatest goal scored at the Emirates it is not a strike Giroud will forget in a hurry, even if it didn’t spur the run of starts for Arsenal he might have hoped for.
“I watched it many times over,” Giroud said. “I was even sent a video where it was commentated on in numerous different languages live. It was nice.
“I quickly moved past it and thankfully, four days later, I scored again with Arsenal, an important goal [against Bournemouth in a 3-3 draw].
“I believed in an incredible 2017. Already the match before against West Brom, I scored the decisive goal, and there, I was beginning to get a run [of games] under my belt. What followed resembled more my situation in the autumn.
“At the time, the team was going well, and I, I came back late from the Euros and had to wait to win a place. Then I started to have slight physical problems. Obviously, it is frustrating.”