Olivier Giroud and Loic Remy have received lots of praise this season for their performances in the Premier League, both are expected to make the France squad for the World Cup this summer. Remy’s future looks uncertain as Newcastle will want to sign him permanently, but his goals may have interested bigger clubs, with Arsenal being linked with the striker. They are short in the striker department with Giroud being relied upon by Arsene Wenger, but the signing of Remy would put the Arsenal forward’s starting place at risk. The on loan Newcastle striker would offer another dimension to Arsenal’s game with his dynamic playing style, they have needed an alternative to Giroud at times this season.
The Arsenal striker operates as a target man, dropping off at times to allow midfield players to make runs past him. He is also a very hard working striker who contributes defensively, especially when defending set pieces. His game relies on his aerial abilities and his strength to hold the ball up in order to bring the array of talented midfielders at the club into play. Meanwhile his compatriot, Remy, can play in two different ways. He can play on the last man, making clever runs behind the opposition defence, but he does have a tendency to be caught offside. His pace is a huge asset as he often finds space and his skill when taking on defenders surpasses that of Giroud. The former Marseille striker can also drop deep and create chances for his team if they are struggling to make a breakthrough.
After a great start to the season, Giroud has scored twelve goals so far, as well as assisting seven times. His shooting accuracy (41%) and chance conversion (19%) are good for a striker, but his clear cut chance conversion rate of 36% is below par. If it was 50%, he would have 15 goals and it may have even contributed to Arsenal gaining more points. The reliance on him has led to his performances dropping over the Christmas period and beyond.
After being dropped for two matches against Liverpool and Bayern Munich, he returned to the side, scoring twice against Sunderland showing that the rest was needed. Arsene Wenger needs to sign a striker this summer to compete with Giroud, as it will give him other options and it will also lead to Giroud’s performance improving as he’ll have to earn his place in the side. Moreover he won’t be overused, so fatigue would be unlikely to affect him.
Remy’s career appeared to take a wrong turn when he opted to join QPR, but the loan spell at Newcastle has enhanced his reputation across Europe. In World Cup year, Remy has earned a recall to the France squad and if he does play a part in the World Cup, interest in him will only increase.
He has scored 13 goals which is one more than his fellow countryman, but he has only two assists, with Giroud laying on more goals for team-mates. Both his shooting accuracy (51%) and his chance conversion (21%) are superior to Giroud. His clear cut chance conversion rate of 50% reinforces that he is a more natural and clinical finisher than the Arsenal striker. His pace and clinical finishing could see him move to Arsenal as he would offer a different style of play to Giroud. Furthermore Arsenal create lots of chances, which will see Remy get the opportunities to score more goals than he can at Newcastle.
The two strikers are both 27 years old approaching the prime of their career, they have already established themselves as top Premier League strikers, but they need to prove it on the European stage to reach the next level. Looking ahead to the World Cup, both will want to secure themselves as France’s second striker behind Karim Benzema and that will likely be determined by their form from now to the end of the season. Remy has returned to the Newcastle side after suspension in great form, scoring twice in two matches, while Giroud is still struggling to reach the heights he reached at the beginning of the campaign. If the on loan Newcastle striker continues to impress regularly, he could find himself taking Giroud’s place at the start of next season.