The 30-year-old was a regular of the Arsenal starting XI until last season, when Arsene Wenger opted to move Alexis Sanchez into the middle and play him as a lone striker.
While some feel the choice was warranted due to Sanchez’s return of 24 goals and 10 assists, others think that Giroud deserves more than a bit-part role due to his effectiveness.
With the Frenchman looking for more game time, reports have been rife that West Ham are heavily interested in signing him, but do supporters want to see him leave north London for east, and secondly – are the Hammers the club Giroud should join?
Squawka put the questions to four Arsenal fans and this is what they said.
Hush Kerai (Assistant Editor, Squawka)
It all depends on where Arsenal see themselves in the grand scheme of things next season. Think back to Wenger’s heyday, Arsenal had Sylvain Wiltord as essentially the 12th member of the first team. If we are going to compete at the very (very) top, then it would be utterly foolish to let Giroud go, unless the player himself forced the issue – something he might do with the 2018 World Cup looming.
I’m not sure West Ham would be the perfect fit for him either. With all due respect to the Hammers, it’s not a foregone conclusion they’ll climb back up the Premier League after their torrid first season at the London Stadium.
And while Giroud can be an effective target man the comparisons with permanently injured Andy Carroll would probably end there. Under Slaven Bilic, West Ham rarely commit enough players forward to make the most out of the Frenchman’s vastly underrated ability to link up play and bring his teammates into goalscoring positions. He’d be wasted.
Luke Matthews (Head of Content at Goal Studios)
I’d happily let Olivier Giroud go to West Ham if Arsenal were to bring in Alexandre Lacazette or someone of similar quality. You have to remember Giroud is now 30-years-old and West Ham is probably the level of club he should be playing at.
It is a touch decision. I feel he’s not quite good enough to be a regular in Arsenal’s first-team but he doesn’t deserve to be sitting on the bench either.
Olivier Giroud has scored 21 headed goals since 2013/14; only Cristiano Ronaldo (27) has scored more in Europe's top 5 leagues.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 20, 2017
Ironically, I’ve said for years that if he had originally come to the Premier League and signed for a team like West Ham, then most people would have been crying out for a top side to sign him now.
Adam Hamdani (Social media producer)
Olivier Giroud is a good centre forward. But that’s all he is. For Arsenal to really get back to the level of the first period of Wenger’s tenure, the standard of expectation in terms of goals/assists/overall contribution needs to be far higher.
It’s not a criticism of Giroud, he’s been a good servant to Arsenal since he joined the club and guarantees goals hitting around the 20 mark if he plays all the time, but the Gunners need Alexandre Lacazette, a Mauro Icardi, a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who will go to that next step, the 25-30 mark and although 5-6 goals as a difference doesn’t sound a lot, it’s the difference between 0-0 and 1-0 when you desperately need the 3 points. Giroud clearly is too good a frontman to sit on the bench and play a bit-part role, so he needs a club where he will get football week in, week out.
West Ham might just be the perfect club for him to go and get that game time. They have no reliable front man and in Giroud, that is certainly what they would get. At 30-years-old, he’s experienced, he understands the Premier League. They are a club that is looking to take themselves to the ‘next level’ under Slaven Bilic and although Andy Carroll is arguably unplayable on his day, he simply can’t be trusted due to his injury woes. Giroud can get them 15-20 goals in the league alone if they play to his strengths.
Giroud is a player that’s been questioned since he first arrived in 2012 but his efficiency in front of goal, especially more recently, speaks for itself. He averaged a goal every 92 minutes last season – the best rate of any PL player with 5+ goals. Since the emergence of Alexis at centre-forward, he’s proven to be an outstanding ‘Plan B’ with attributes that no other forward in the squad can boast. For these reasons, I think he remains a vital player for us and one that I hope we can keep for at least the next couple of years.
Olivier Giroud had the highest conversion rate (35.3%) of any player to score more than 10 goals in the Premier League last season.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 19, 2017
With the World Cup fast approaching, it’s clear that Giroud requires regular playing time but I am sceptical about him moving to West Ham. At 30, he will want to maximise his chances of picking up some winners medals before his career winds down. While staying in London may appeal to Giroud, there has been a lot of speculation surrounding a potential move back to Ligue 1.
A transfer to Marseille or Lyon seems a more likely move if the Frenchman does leave Arsenal as he looks to compete for titles and cement his place in the France starting XI as they head off to Russia next summer.