The summer began quickly and in unprecedented fashion for Arsenal, as two major signings were made before 1st July. Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud joined the club from FC. Koln and Montpellier respectively and look set to bring firepower to the Arsenal forward line.
With Captain RVP so publically declaring his desire to leave the club, how can the two signings make up for the goals he scored last season?
Podolski, scored 46 goals in his 81 apperances for FC. Koln, while Giroud contributed to 33 goals in his 71 appearances for Montpellier.
If you look at last season alone, Giroud finished the season as joint top scorer of Ligue 1 with 25 goals, Podolski finished the season on 18 goals, with a relegated side.
Giroud might not have the international experience of Podolski, but having scored 25 goals in Ligue 1, illustrates his goal scoring capabilities. Giroud has been described as having a “good touch for a big man”, whilst being strong and technically gifted. With the over reliance of goals from RVP last season, Giroud will certainly bring about another dimension to Arsenal’s play, whilst also producing about another scoring alternative.
Podolski on the other hand, is a proven international, having amounted over 100 caps for Germany by the age of 27. If his international reputation is anything to go by, Podolski will add strength to the Arsenal squad, while offering versatility across the front line. If you compare Podolski’s and Gervinho’s stats from last year you will see that Podolski looks set to add quality to the final third. Podolski scored 19 times and assisted on eight occasions in his 40 appearances last season. Gervinho on the other hand, scored four and assisted six times in 28 appearances. Podolski therefore scored or assisted in 67.5% of the games he played, compared to the 35.7% of Gervinho.
This added firepower should give Arsenal a more potent front three, which, combined with Theo Walcott, who had his best season in the Red and White last season, has every chance of causing defenses havoc next season.
However, with the imminent departure of captain and talisman RVP, will Giroud and Podolski be able to fill this void, or will another striker been needed? Jovetic, Lewandowski and recently and unrealistically David Villa, have been linked to be replacements for RVP.
Ultimately, while Giroud and Podolski will offer goals, they cannot be considered as replacements for RVP, especially when both said they would be working with him! One more striker is needed if RVP is sold in the summer and I hope Wenger gets the business done quickly.