Before the end of the season, Arsenal were put in an uncomfortable position of maybe losing their captain and star player Robin van Persie. Arsenal fans, going by previous experiences with Cesc Fabregas, perhaps thought that they might have to rely on out-of-favour players like Marouane Chamakh and Park Chu-Young for the upcoming season.
However, Arsene Wenger had other ideas in mind. The Frenchman quickly snapped up German international Lukas Podolski for £11million before the season ended. This quite rightly blew Arsenal fans away. Very rarely do Arsenal go for proven players and it’s even rarer that it is done before the transfer market even opens.
This week Arsene Wenger claimed on a French TV channel TF1, that a deal for Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud is “90% done”. Adding to that, another confirmation might be from the striker himself who tweeted “Gunner” only to delete it afterwards. Giroud was Ligue 1 top goal scorer last season, and is another French international. The fee is believed to be around £12million which in total adds up to £23million for the two signings.
It seems “Le Professeur” has opted not to have another deadline day scramble like last August and quite brilliantly has wrapped up his two main deals before July. These two deals could prove massive for Arsenal’s title chances next season. The Gunners desperately needed more attacking options upfront as they over relied heavily on Van Persie for goals. All this has come at a cost of £23million – £7million less than Andy Carroll and £27 million less than Fernando Torres. Wenger has once again captured quality signings for cheap as he always does.
We already know about Lukas Podolski, a man who has made 100 caps for massive footballing country like Germany at the age of 27. His 18 goals in 29 games for relegated side FC Cologne in Bundesliga has made everyone wonder – What can he do at a top European club?
While Podolski was battling relegation with FC Cologne, Giroud was netting for fun to earn Montpellier the Ligue 1 championship. The 6″3 Frenchman netted 21 goals for the club last season and will be hoping for similar success at Arsenal. The only concern about Giroud is that it has been one season that he has scored on regular basis at the top level. However, this didn’t stop French boss Laurent Blanc choosing Olivier Giroud for his Euro 2012 squad. Whether he will come good in tough premier league remains to be seen.
So, where will they both play? It looks like Arsene Wenger wants a three man attacking lineup of Podolski, Van Persie and Giroud. That will be brilliant for Arsenal and their supporters. A front three with a combined goal tally of 69 league goals last season will strike fear into any opposing defense. But, there’s still that niggling last remaining piece to an exciting attacking prospect which is whether Robin van Persie will extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium or not. If he does, Arsenal have every reason to be optimistic for August 18th and the upcoming season.