After news broke out on Arsenal reportedly agreeing a fee to sign French striker Olivier Giroud from Montpellier, there was a sense of doom among Arsenal fans; not the usual excitement that is generally experienced when the Gunners are on the verge of buying a new player.
That sense of doom, was because, Giroud could mean a replacement signing for Robin Van Persie. If Giroud, a central striker, who won the title with Montpellier scoring 25 goals in all competitions, is to arrive, then surely it is the end of Van Persie's career at Arsenal.
Let's take a deep breath and look at things once again. Giroud is indeed a main striker. However, so was Marouane Chamakh, when he signed from Bordeaux after guiding them to the French League title in his time with the French club. Just because Giroud's left-footed, does not mean Van Persie will leave. If a team can play with three right-footed forwards, why not play with three left-footed ones?
Van Persie wants Arsenal to show ambition in the transfer market. He wants to know that the club he's been with for eight years is capable of winning the title. There is also a sense of loyalty there, unlike with Samir Nasri, who said he would definitely leave if Cesc Fabregas left.
Giroud's move looks like a done deal, with Montpellier manager confirming Arsenal's interest to French radio station RMC. "Arsenal are very interested and Giroud wants to play in England, if Arsene agrees with the president, he will sign for them," Girard said. Arsenal, of course, will confirm anything only after all the paperwork is done.
The signing of Lukas Podolski and Giroud, and hopefully a couple more, will only convince him that Arsenal can compete in the transfer market and bring in quality players.
Olivier Giroud can play centrally in a front three with Van Persie and Podolski or come off the bench as an impact substitute. Something he has said he is not averse to doing, when he was linked with Bayern Munich and would have had to compete with the prolific Mario Gomez for a starting berth.
Giroud's the second choice for France, behind Benzema. So it is not like he will be a certain starter if he signs for Arsenal or will expect to be.
Wenger was extremely disappointed to see Fabregas and Nasri leave the club last season. He said Arsenal cannot say they are a big club, if they keep selling their best players. Wenger will be desperate to make sure such a situation does not arise for the second-straight season.
Right now, Van Persie's only potential suitors are Juventus. His father has ruled out a move to Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid. Juventus reportedly want to make a statement in Europe about their resurgence by signing the Dutch striker. However, they do not have the deep pockets like City or Paris St Germain do. So, it will be done on a budget. Again, a cause for optimism for Arsenal fans that their main man will stay.
Giroud is undoubtedly a good player. However, if Van Persie does leave, Wenger will be desperate to make a statement by signing someone much bigger. A proven and experienced goal-scorer.
Fernando Llorente anyone?