The West Ham / Olivier Giroud link has been rolling on for much of the summer already and it is not going away. This could be good news for Hammers fans as the club look to fill their problematic striking position. West Ham have already been linked with other forwards so far during the summer window but have seen them move elsewhere. Of the players profiled in past editions of this column Henry Onyekuru has recently joined Everton, while former Montpellier forward Steve Mounie has joined newly promoted Huddersfield Town. Of the players still linked, Giroud seems he more likely but the board need to make one of the rumoured deals happen or risk being left short on options when the season starts.
The Giroud deal apparently hinges on Arsenal being able to sign Alexandre Lacazette, which depends on Lyon being able to replace him. I should imagine that the club Lacazette’s replacement comes from will likely need to source new talent also so it could be some time before any movement on Giroud is made, if at all. The striker, who was utilised more as an impact substitute for Arsenal last season seems to have accepted that he is on the way out of the Emirates but is very keen to stay in the capital, making West Ham the ideal place for him. What can Hammers fans expect from the 30 year-old French international should the move go ahead?
Giroud is a proven Premier League goal scorer. He has scored 69 league goals in 164 games over the five seasons he has spent at Arsenal. Last season was his lowest league rerun since his debut campaign, netting 12 Premier League goals as Arsenal finished outside the top four for the first time since he joined. Despite a poor return it was mainly due to his limited minutes but he scored at a rate of a goal on every 100 minutes played last season. If not for Harry Kane’s form towards the end of the season he would have had the best goal to minutes ratio in the league. On the international stage he is still getting game time for France and proves to be the focal point of their attack. The striker scored 11 in 14 starts for his country this season, including three at Euro 2016.
When compared to the current options Giroud looks as though he can only help to improve the strike force. Playing less league minutes than Andy Carroll he scored five more goals. His shooting accuracy was better with almost 60% of his shots hitting the target compared with Carroll’s ratio of one in two. Giroud’s forward play was all together better as well considering that he had a better pass competition ration (72%) and created 17 chances for his team mates. One area which Carroll outshone his fellow forward was in aerial duels, winning 58% compared to Giroud’s 44%.
If West Ham can get this deal done and sign Giroud then they will have a proven goal scorer who appears to still have enough in him to improve the squad. He will turn 31 in September so he perhaps has only two seasons in him but in that time he can help fire the Hammers further up the table and improve on last season.