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22 Goals In 57 Games: A Perfect Partner For Olivier Giroud (At Arsenal)?

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Olivier Giroud

News coming in from a major news outlet states that Arsenal have finalised a January deal for Dynamo Moscow’s Russian striker Aleksandr Kokorin. The 24-year-old has had a couple of spells at the Russian club but now is set to make a jump into the rough waters of the Premier League.

Arsenal fans will be hoping that this January transfer from the Russian Premier League turns out to be a great Andrei Arshavin and not the last few months the talented Russian had at the club. Kokorin was one of the most coveted strikers in the league and was expected to make a move to the Premier League and Arsenal could well have made a huge signing and the player should provide some competition to Olivier Giroud but can the 24-year-old replace Giroud?

A younger Giroud or another star in the making?

For all the abuse Olivier Giroud does get, he does perform when it is needed the most. Giroud did score a hat-trick against Olympiakos in a pressure game and has often done the good deeds when playing for the Gunners, but it is the ability to somehow go completely cold in front of goal that ticks off most Arsenal fans.

Giroud does have 71 goals in 157 games for Arsenal, a pretty decent scoring rate, but he doesn’t have that great movement which can help the team. Giroud likes the ball being played to him and he would want to finish those up, he wouldn’t be the player who drags a defender wide or creates space for a Walcott or a Sanchez.

Kokorin is a pretty similar player to Giroud; he too is great in the air like the Frenchman and also is good at holding balls and bringing other players into the game. Finishing is also a strong point for the 24-year-old Russian and that would mean good news for Arsenal fans.

There is a bit of a worry, especially with Kokorin not scoring as many goals for his hometown club. Although in his second spell at Moscow, he has done a little better with 22 goals in 57 games. Someone new coming into the league might take some time to get used to the pace and physicality of the league.

Kokorin might just need to work a little hard to ensure that he doesn’t get overawed by the situation of playing in the Premier League. The Russian does have help on his side as Arsene Wenger will slowly bring him up to speed in the team and that is something Kokorin should take advantage off. If he a replacement for Giroud? Probably not, he might be a better finisher than Giroud but the goals aren’t there at the moment but those are just stats, nothing is a certainty in football, let’s hope for the best for this Russian – French connection.