Arsenal’s lack of line-leading alternatives to Olivier Giroud could rival the birth of the royal baby in terms of column inches hogged over the previous 12 months and it’s a near-certainty that Arsene Wenger will bolster his attacking ranks during pre-season.
According to reports in the Daily Mail, though, potential inbound strikers won’t be supplementing the services of the hard-working French forward, but replacing them, with Atletico Madrid interested in snapping up the Gunners’ most powerful goal-getting force.
Giroud’s name features on an arm-length shortlist of attacking options Los Colchoneros can turn to when Diego Costa inevitably departs the Vicente Calderon at the end of the season.
However, despite the interest from the prospective Spanish champions, the 27-year-old is keen to remain in north London.
It may appear ominous on the surface, but Atleti’s interest in their target man is excellent news for the Gunners’ 2014/15 title ambitions; they’re currently rated at 9/1 to win a fourth Premier League crown ahead of the forthcoming campaign.
The lesser-lauded Madrid club are arguably the finest goal machine engineers on the planet, with names such as Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan, Radamel Falcao, as well as Costa, all departing from the barbershop-striped factory with an enhanced reputation in the soccersphere from when they went in.
Could Atletico’s knack of replacing one ravenous goal-fiend with one even fiercer mean that Giroud is set to score at will next season?
The evolution in Costa’s game provides a shining example that says so.
His 2012/13 La Liga exploits yielded just ten goals, a total he is on course to treble this time around with 27 in the bag with three games to play.
Giroud’s quality has unquestionably improved during his second season in the top-flight, scoring 15 goals as opposed to the 11 he mustered in his maiden campaign.
This upward trajectory may not be of the Richter scale-busting proportions that Costa has enjoyed, but it’s been enough to impress Diego Simeone, which suggests the former Montpellier man can double his current haul in 2014/15, a tally that will simultaneously augment Arsenal’s league-winning prospects immeasurably.