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Your opinion on Olivier Giroud is both right and wrong

Whatever you think of the guy, it’s probably right. And wrong. And right. And wrong. Ad infinitum; ad nauseum

Arsenal Training Session Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Olivier Giroud is a very good center forward whose career at Arsenal has been, by most accounts, a successful one. He’s scored over 100 goals in five-and-a-half years, a mark that only 19 players have achieved in the history of the club.

Olivier Giroud is 31 years old. He is not as dynamic of a goal scorer, presently, as Arsenal’s current transfer target, Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Aubameyang is a much better player than Giroud, which is something nearly everyone agrees with. Giroud has started a mere ten matches in all competitions this season, which is very much below previous seasons at this point in the calendar. Meanwhile, Aubameyang has scored 21 goals in all competitions.

Olivier Giroud, if Aubameyang were to arrive, would become Arsenal’s third-choice center forward, trailing the new signing and Alexandre Lacazette in that regard. However, Aubameyang is ineligible to play for Arsenal in the Europa League – one of Arsenal’s pathways back into the Champions League. In that case, Giroud will make every Arsenal squad for those knockout matches, and potentially start them based on either matchups or a Lacazette injury.

Olivier Giroud is rumored to be a Chelsea transfer target before tomorrow’s window shuts. The Blues are searching near and far for a target man and, while his name just recently appeared within the past few days in the transfer rumors, it probably makes more sense than not for Chelsea to inquire about his availability given that Aubameyang looks to be nearing a move to Arsenal. Giroud has final say on where, if he does opt to leave, he goes. The rumor that his missus wants a stay in London – for probably very obvious reasons - complicates Arsenal’s handling of his future.

Olivier Giroud would do far more help to Chelsea’s chances of finishing in the top four of the league than not. While Alvaro Morata is a very talented player, he’s had a very inconsistent start to his career at the club. The one thing Morata’s struggled with this season is exactly the sort of thing Giroud has not: finishing. Selling Giroud makes sense; selling him to Chelsea, at a cut-rate, does not.

Olivier Giroud is worth more than the £15-20 million price tag that’s rumored to be on his head. His contract with Arsenal has one-and-a-half years remaining on it, and while he’s fallen down the ladder at the club that’s not due to a decline in talent. He’s not the quickest player, but he’s consistently shown a knack for scoring goals from impossible angles in crucial situations of a match. Finishing is more of a natural skill that’s hard to teach and train into players, and while he’s certainly had his moments of madness in front of the net in the past his record indicates that was the exception than the rule.

These are all the facts that people on both sides of this extremely weird and surreal Olivier Giroud debate that’s broken out among Arsenal fans like to leave out, depending on which side of the argument they’re on. Everyone is simultaneously right and wrong about Giroud because, as it stands, the narratives on display are stronger than the facts they brush aside. There appears to be very little-to-no acknowledgement of the other side of the conversation.

In that regard your opinion of Olivier Giroud, his value, his standing at Arsenal, and his ability to continue as a productive player in the future is both right and wrong. The sooner you understand this, the calmer the conversations become. What it should shine a light on is this one indisputable fact: Arsenal are facing a very difficult situation regarding Giroud’s status, and whatever decision they land upon will be both the right and wrong one.