West Ham United have once again been linked with a move for Olivier Giroud ahead of the upcoming transfer window…
According to Italian news outlet Calciomercato, there is a lot of interest in the out-of-contract Chelsea striker this summer, with teams in the Serie A and Premier League monitoring his situation. The likes of Juventus, Inter Milan, AS Roma and Lazio have been mentioned, as well as the Irons, who could battle their top-flight rivals Crystal Palace for his signature.
Giroud’s £110,000-per-week deal at Stamford Bridge expires next month, meaning he is free to find a new club unless the Champions League finalists offer him a new deal, which seems unlikely at this stage.
Despite being 34, the 1.93m (6 foot 4) powerhouse ticks a lot of encouraging boxes for the Hammers.
It is abundantly clear that David Moyes is desperate for a new addition to his frontline after the club failed to replace the outgoing Sebastian Haller during the January transfer window, leaving him with an injury-prone Michail Antonio as his only senior option at centre-forward.
They have been linked with plenty of big-money signings, including Giroud’s Chelsea teammate Tammy Abraham, who could cost in excess of £40m. That’s an extraordinary amount of money and would undoubtedly take a serious wedge out of the 58-year-old’s summer budget, so Giroud is an appealing cheap and short-term fix instead.
He also has vast experience in the game, racking up 255 appearances and 90 goals in the Premier League, as well as 107 caps for France, whilst he has won the World Cup, a Europa League and four FA Cups.
With the Irons just one point away from Europa League qualification, signing someone who has won that very competition could be rather valuable. Again, that’s another checkmark beside his name.
Of course, the French veteran is by no means a long-term fix to Moyes’ striker woes, but he is certainly still capable of delivering the goods on his day, and could either be a short-term plug or a perfect option to accompany any new addition – after all, West Ham probably need more than just one new centre-forward.
Giroud also offers something completely different to Antonio – that being his aerial threat – something about which Eden Hazard waxed lyrical in 2018.
“Olivier’s a target man, maybe the best in the world; I think so,” explained the former Chelsea star. “When he gets the ball, he can hold the ball and we can go in deep with him, so for us, it’s a pleasure to play with him.”
The 34-year-old beast, valued at just £4.5m by Transfermarkt, has also been lauded as “out of this world” by Glenn Hoddle, whilst his former boss Frank Lampard hailed him as “the ultimate professional.”
Furthermore, it is perhaps Gary Lineker‘s past endorsement which should provide the most encouragement, as he tweeted: “Olivier Giroud is an extremely underrated player. His intelligent movement and finishing are exceptional. He’ll always score plenty of goals.”
All in all, on the above evidence, Moyes should urge a move for the free agent this summer. It won’t cost GSB a penny and Giroud would provide a bargain solution to their thin attack.