By Tony Hughes
Jamie Redknapp has said that Olivier Giroud provides Arsene Wenger with the “perfect Plan B” and a stat shows he has scored more goals from the bench than any other striker in the Premier League since his debut.
Giroud made an immediate impact in the game against Sunderland on Saturday with the game delicately poised at 1-1, after Jermain Defoe had equalised against the run of play from the penalty spot.
The France international scored a brace with this first two touches of the game to push for a starting spot in Wenger’s side going forward.
“9 – Goals Giroud has scored as a substitute in the Premier League since his debut in August 2012 – more than any other player in that time,” the Daily Mail says.
And Redknapp says that Giroud made the best of a perfect situation on Saturday.
“If you’re a striker, coming off the bench with your team drawing or narrowly losing is the perfect scenario,” Redknapp said.
“You can make sure all the headlines are about you by coming on to change the game.
“The Frenchman has struggled to live up to the likes of Ian Wright, Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp. It’s as if he is haunted by the ghosts of Arsenal past.
“He needs to forget the comparisons and focus on the positives. Giroud is such a presence in the box and gives Arsene Wenger a perfect Plan B.”
Giroud will be looking for an immediate reward for his two goals with a starting place in the Champions League match against Ludogorets on Tuesday.
And, with a north London derby coming up against Tottenham on Sunday, Wenger may indeed rest preferred striker Alexis Sanchez and hand the attacking spot to Giroud.