Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Giroud's Not Great, but Top-Class No9s Have Disappeared

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Giroud's Not Great, but Top-Class No9s Have Disappeared

Article excerpt

Byline: Harry Redknapp

OLIVIER GIROUD gets it in the neck whenever he plays for France or Arsenal but Euro 2016 has shown us that top-class centreforwards are a dying breed.

The big clubs across Europe are all looking to sign a striker this summer. The Gunners need a back-up, at least, because if Giroud gets injured they are struggling as Danny Welbeck is out for the rest of the year.

Ideally, they need an upgrade on Giroud and many France fans feel the same way. He scored a couple of goals against Iceland but they aren't convinced he's good enough because of the great strikers they have had in the past. But that doesn't matter where are the great strikers now? Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a class act but Manchester United very rarely sign 34-year-olds. They were relying on Marcus Rashford an 18-year-old kid last season partly because of injury but also because they hadn't found a striker worthy of big money.

People are talking about Romelu Lukaku now being worth PS60million. Is he really? Not on what I've seen at Everton or with Belgium during this tournament.

Lukaku has a lot of potential but you wouldn't say a player of his ability should cost that much.

Spain's Alvaro Morata has also been talked about in that ballpark, too, but we haven't seen enough from him either. Are there game-changing forwards who are available? I saw somebody saying a club were interested in signing Luis Suarez take him and you win the Premier League. I don't care if you are Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or whoever: the team that signed him would win the League because his work-rate and finishing are that good he can make the difference alone. But it is very difficult to sign him. So who is around? Giroud would not be playing for France if Karim Benzema hadn't been left out for off-field reasons but maybe he is a bit underappreciated.

He's a good player and although there have been better forwards available in the past, they just don't exist at the moment. Giroud isn't as good as Harry Kane but he leads the line well and has obviously dealt with the pressure better in this tournament.

Against Ireland, he got across the line brilliantly to head the ball for Antoine Griezmann to score the winner. …

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