Recently departed Everton manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed that he fully expected to sign Arsenal striker Oliver Giroud before the French international performed a last minute U-Turn and decided to stay and fight for his place at the Emirates, according to reports in The Mirror.
“I had Olivier Giroud in the building. He would have fitted perfectly, but at the very last moment he decided that he’d rather live in London and stay at Arsenal.”
“That was really hard to swallow. You tell me, where you can get a better striker?”
“Lukaku was so important for us, not just because of his goals. He had a certain way of playing as a striker — strong. He could hold the ball, he always had an eye for the goal, he was fast. If things were not going well in a game, if we could not play the way we were used to, there was always the option to use the long ball towards him.”
“All of a sudden (when Giroud did his U-turn), we were missing such a player.”
“With Nikola Vlasic and Wayne Rooney, we had attackers who want the ball at their feet.”
Whether Giroud would have been able to replicate the impact Romelu Lukaku had at Goodison is debatable, but it’s probably safe to say he would have made some sort of a difference to Everton’s shot-shy attack this season. Only Wayne Rooney and Oumar Niasse have found the target for The Toffees so far this term in the Premier League.
Giroud, who recently netted his 100th goal in all competitions for Arsenal since his £9.6 million move from Montpellier in 2012 is a real crowd favourite at the Emirates. Although, at times it has looked like the talented-striker would thrive in a side that plays with a more direct approach as opposed to The Gunners’ slick possession based style.
Despite having limited starting opportunities due to the arrival of international team-mate Alexandre Lacazette the 31-year-old, for whatever reason, decided that staying in London was his best option on both a personal and professional level.
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