Arsenal have agreed a two year contract extension with striker Oliver Giroud. The new contract extends his stay to Arsenal to the year 2018, and improves his wages to £80,000 a week.
The striker who turned 28 on Tuesday is currently out injured with a fractured bone sustained in Arsenal’s second Premier League match of the season against Everton at Goodison Park in August.
Since his arrival from Ligue 1 side Montpellier, the French international has gone on to score 41 goals in all competitions for Arsenal.
Although he struggled for goals in his early games for Arsenal upon his arrival in 2012, he went on to score 17 goals in all competitions in his first season in North London with 11 goals in the league. He increased on that total with a further 22 goals last season, with 16 coming in the Premier League. He was Arsenal’s top scorer last season ahead of Aaron Ramsey.
The contract extension is a boost for the French international as he recovers from his broken foot. It would give the squad a further lift that a player who has been pivotal to the way Arsenal plays in the last two seasons has been tied down to a long term deal by the club.
It caps a systematic shift from the club since the last eighteen months as the core of players currently in the squad have been tied down to long term deals. Oliver Giroud joins Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla as players that have signed contract extensions in the last couple of months.
The French striker no doubt is not the favourite of strikers in the fantasy team of most Arsenal fans for reasons that centre on his own natural limitations which are his obvious lack of pace and movement. Yet there is no doubt that his absence have been felt in some matches this season where his physicality and height would have added some steel to Arsenal’s attack. Added to that, is his hold up play which would have opened up some space for other players in the attacking third. Too often, last Saturday in the North London derby there was no central figure that could have troubled both of Tottenham Hotspur’s centre halves.
Despite the criticism he has encountered from within the fan base, there is something he offers Arsenal that glues the attack together, which aids against teams that defend deep.
His contract extension means he would be around the scene for sometime at the Emirates.