Evaluation: Arsenal’s Six Striker Choices – Who Need to Direct The Line Now Olivier Giroud Has Returned?

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Danny Welbeck Alexis Sanchez ArsenalAnalysing who should be Arsenal’s main striker for the remainder of the season now that Olivier Giroud has returned…

With Olivier Giroud returning from injury far earlier than expected, Arsene Wenger looks to have a decision to make regarding who should lead the line for the Gunners.

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Last season Arsenal fans were clamouring for a new forward, and the manager went out and bought Danny Welbeck from Manchester United. Alexis Sanchez also made the switch from La Liga to the Premier League, another player who could arguably do a job alone up front.

The North London club are suffering their usual glut of injuries at the moment, but when everyone is fit who should be their go to guy in attack?

danny welbeck hat-trick arsenal v galatasaray

Danny Welbeck

The 23-year-old forward was brought in from Manchester United this summer for £16m, and has already settled in well at the Emirates.

He netted his first senior hat-trick against Galatasaray in the Champions League, and looked well capable of kicking on from there. He has found the back of the net just twice in the Premier League this season however, and may not have done enough to convince Arsene Wenger he is the right choice to lead the attack.

His pace certainly offers something different to Olivier Giroud, but his finishing certainly leaves something to be desired; and considering his strength and height he is not nearly as good in the air as he should be.

Olivier Giroud Arsenal

Olivier Giroud

The Frenchman made a real statement on his return from injury, smashing in a fantastic goal against Manchester United in the dying minutes.

He may have been criticised for spurning opportunities over the past two seasons, but he is the kind of forward who offers far more than just a goal threat.

His hold-up play has been vital for the Gunners at times, and his link up play and passing are both far better than your average target-man.

The Frenchman has the potential to form a fantastic partnership with Alexis Sanchez, who could thrive off the space he creates.

As an added bonus Giroud provides an aerial presence in both boxes, and with Arsenal’s tendency to struggle with set-pieces that is an important trait.

Arsenal v Borussia Dortmund odds

Alexis Sanchez

The Chilean is arguably far more effective in a free role, with his seemingly endless energy levels allowing him to pop up in every area of the pitch.

His fantastic finishing and goal threat would no doubt make him a success up front, but whether he is the best option is debatable.

The £32m summer signing has been deadly when cutting in from the left, and that appears to be his best position for the Gunners.

Lukas Podolski Arsenal

Lukas Podolski

Unquestionably the best finisher in the Arsenal squad, but he does not seem to flourish when deployed as the lone striker.

His lack of intelligent movement seems to be the main problem, with the German often remaining static and waiting for his teammates to find him.

When he is able to slip into pockets of space he is absolutely deadly, but when he’s on the pitch it can often feel like the Gunners are playing with ten men.

If Arsene Wenger ever decides to play two strikers then Podolski could really shine, but in the current system it is not surprising that the World Cup winner has seen barely any action this season.

Yaya Sanogo Arsenal

Yaya Sanogo

The young Frenchman scored his first competitive goal for the Gunners in midweek, netting against Borussia Dortmund after just a minute.

He is still very raw, and unlikely to regularly be given the responsibility of leading the line any time soon. He does show fantastic potential however, and if he can stay injury free he could eventually find himself in the running.

Theo Walcott Arsenal

Theo Walcott

The pacey Englishman was just starting to get some game time up front before his season ending injury, but now that he is on his way back he can again be considered for the role.

His unrivalled pace and vastly improved finishing certainly makes him a viable option, but he doesn’t offer a whole lot else unfortunately.

Walcott’s hold-up play is practically non existent, but his raw speed does mean teams are forced to play significantly deeper.

The main question is whether he offers anything majorly different when played up front as opposed to on the wing.

Olivier Giroud Arsenal Man Utd

Final thoughts

With Arsenal’s current injury problems it looks like Olivier Giroud will slot straight back in to the team; which in my opinion is exactly where he belongs.

It is fantastic for Arsene Wenger to have options like Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott who can offer something a little different, but when surrounded by players with pace the Frenchman can tie the whole team together.

Obviously the starting XI doesn’t have to be set in stone and can be tailor made depending on opponents, but unless Danny Welbeck can be a little more clinical then I can’t see a reason to start him over Olivier Giroud.