Olivier Giroud has always managed to divide opinions in North London. While some feel he has something to offer to Arsenal, most want to see him out from the Emirates. And they are not wrong to have that opinion having seen their main striker put on erratic displays over the years.
Even his manager, Arsene Wenger, seemed to have lost a bit of faith in the French forward, as he has continuously used Alexis Sanchez as the striker this season.
But Giroud has been on a hot streak of late, scoring crucial goals for Arsenal in their previous two Premier League fixtures.
The 30-year old has shone for Arsenal over the past few weeks and has created a sort of conundrum for Wenger. Does he stick with Sanchez who has taken to the role of centre-forward like a duck takes to water, or does he reward a resurgent Giroud and pick him in the starting XI?
Giroud’s impressive goal-scoring run
The French striker has four goals in his last four appearances for the Gunners, which includes the all-important powerful header at Old Trafford that made sure Arsenal left the M-16 with a point.
In the match before that, against a lowly Sunderland, Giroud came off the bench, with the score at 1-1, and scored two well-taken goals with his first two touches inspiring the Gunners to a stellar victory with the scoreline reading 4-1.
He also helped Arsenal overcome Ludogorets in their last Champions League fixture, as he scored the equaliser against the Bulgarian outfit after Arsenal were 2-0 down at a point.
Giroud in, who out?
There is no doubt Wenger will have his work cut out as he selects his team to face PSG in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Giroud, with a string of impressive displays, has made a strong case for his inclusion. But how do you drop Alexis Sanchez who arguably has been the best and the most influential player on the pitch for Arsenal? The Chilean has, so far this season, has scored 8 times and assisted a further 7 goals.
There is always an option of switching back to the old ways, with Sanchez on the left-flank and Giroud leading the line. But that would mean another star performer for the North Londoners this season, young Alex Iwobi, will miss out.
Giroud, till date has started just one game for Arsenal this season and has grown frustrated with the time that he is spending on the bench. Rumours linking him with an Arsenal exit are never far away, but looking at the time he has spent on the bench, one might believe that there is some sort of credibility to all the noise surrounding his departure.
But one has to give credit to Giroud for sticking it out and keeping the fight on in a situation that is far from perfect. And now with his goal-scoring form, he is staking a claim for more regular involvement.
But has he managed to earn back his manager’s faith? Will he be reinstated to the starting XI by Wenger? If so, who will be the one to miss out? Only time will tell.