Pierre Emerick Aubameyang looks like he is set to become an Arsenal player today, with Dortmund finally accepting Arsenal’s bid last night. Dortmund had been holding up the deal due to their failure to source a replacement, but Chelsea have come through from them, offering Michy Batshuayi on loan until the end of the season.
But, Chelsea are too shrewd to let Batshuayi go without a replacement lined up. Especially, when you consider the chase they’ve had this winter for a striker. Deals for Carroll, Crouch and Dzeko have all fallen through, and widespread reports this morning claim that they are close to a £35m deal for Olivier Giroud.
This deal makes total sense for Chelsea, and it’s a surprise they didn’t look to the handsome Frenchman much earlier in the window. He’s arguably the best target man in the world, few are better than him in the air, and he’s got a deft touch in and around the box. Unfortunately for Giroud, his lack of mobility contradicts with Wenger’s style of play, and he’s been limited for game time this season.
Chelsea on the other hand, thrive at getting the ball out wide, and have two wing backs who excel at putting the ball in the box. Alonso and Moses will put it on his head all day long, and Giroud will pick up a huge number of goals, as he’s a much better finisher than he gets credit for.
Last season, Chelsea were at their best when Costa was on form. Costa got in players faces, he went out for a battle, and he didn’t give defenders a minute’s peace. Morata on the other hand is pathetic. He’s soft, he lacks composure in front of goals, and when it comes to the battle, he disappears.
Giroud may not wind players up the way Costa does, but he will battle for 90 minutes. He will challenge for every ball and come out successful most often than not, giving Hazard, Willian and Pedro room to run onto his flick ons. This trait could work wonders for the West London club, and could see the form of Hazard, Alonso, Moses, Willian and even Fabregas improve.
The deal is a surprising one from Arsenal’s perspective. Selling a loyal clubman to a direct rival will once again anger fans. Losing Sanchez was a blow, but Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan’s arrivals have helped soften it. Losing Giroud to Chelsea will once again leave fans questioning the club’s ambition, especially in the Europa League, where they will be reliant on Lacazette, as Auba is cup tied.
But, if this is what it takes to get Aubameyang over the line fans will likely accept it. Both clubs will be made stronger if the transfers go through, and Batshuayi going to Dortmund is the key piece of the puzzle. It’s going to be a crazy day, but expect them all to go through.