Henry completes Giroud U-turn and urges Arsenal to keep him

Date published: Friday 8th July 2016 1:06

Olivier Giroud: Spending time on Arsenal bench

Thierry Henry wants to see Arsene Wenger go all out to sign one of Alvaro Morata or Alexandre Lacazette – then pair them in a two-man Arsenal attack with Olivier Giroud.

Giroud’s future as Wenger’s starting striker remains in doubt despite an impressive return of three goals for France at Euro 2016, with the 29-year-old expected to pay the price for a 15-game goal drought in the Premier League between January and May.

Morata is Arsenal’s preferred option but Real Madrid’s price tag of £57million may force them to look elsewhere, with Lyon reportedly valuing Lacazette at £34m.

Both would expect to be Wenger’s new centre forward but Henry thinks they could combine well with Giroud.

“The guys mentioned; they’re the perfect strikers to play like that,” Henry told the London Evening Standard.

Henry has rarely been among Giroud’s most vocal cheerleaders, claiming in April 2015 that Wenger would never win the title with his compatriot leading the line.

However Henry believes that, when paired with a strike partner, Giroud can be a dangerous forward and believes he can get even better for Arsenal next season.


He said: “I’ve said it many times – Giroud is very good at what he does. He’s a very good player but he needs to play with someone.

“Giroud, with his back to goal, is very good; you saw the goal against Ireland when Giroud flicked on and [Antoine] Griezmann scored. He can’t turn and outpace anyone, Giroud, but in Griezmann he has a guy he can feed. It’s a great partnership. They share the workload of scoring goals.

“I never doubted what he can do but I think he’s better with someone alongside him.


“Everyone has always said that Arsenal need another striker but that doesn’t mean Giroud has to drop to the bench. He should play with someone because he has all the attributes. I’ve said before, I would have loved to have played with him.”

Wenger has rarely played a 4-4-2 since Dennis Bergkamp retired in 2006 – even before then the Dutch forward’s tendency to drop deep meant Arsenal’s formation looked more like a 4-2-3-1.

On occasions Wenger has gambled with a front two, most notably when he turned to Yaya Sanogo in his search for an equaliser in the 2014 FA Cup Final.

However recent months have seen two up top become an increasingly successful strategy, with Leicester’s Premier League title and Italy’s Euro 2016 wins over Belgium and Spain among the most notable examples. Could the strategy work at Arsenal?

“I do not understand why people are scared to play with two strikers,” Henry added. “Look at all the teams that have been successful at this tournament – France, Italy have been successful playing a 3-5-2. I think the game is going back to two strikers.

“Sometimes I watch Arsenal and think it would be great to see Sanchez behind Olivier. Giroud is the perfect striker to play with a guy that runs in behind.”

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