Thursday 26 April 2018

Olivier Giroud signs new £80,000-a-week deal with Arsenal

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud is facing a lengthy spell out but has signed a new deal
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud is facing a lengthy spell out but has signed a new deal

Jeremy Wilson

Olivier Giroud has signed a new contract committing him to Arsenal until 2018, with Arsène Wenger confident that he now has the attacking variety in his squad to regain the Premier League title in the coming years.

Telegraph Sport reported earlier this month that Arsenal were opening talks with both Giroud and Theo Walcott, despite their current injuries, over new deals and agreement has been reached first with the France striker. Giroud will not return to the Arsenal team until the New Year after fracturing his foot but had already convinced Wenger in his first two full seasons at the club that he has both the style and temperament for English football.

Wenger has already splashed out almost £50 million this summer on adding Alexis Sánchez and Danny Welbeck to his attacking options but he regards Giroud as the most natural target man in the main central striker position and a player who offers something completely different to the rest of his squad.

Giroud scored 41 goals in his first two seasons at Arsenal and, at the age of 27, is now in what should be his peak years. Although he lacks pace and mobility, his aerial strength, physical presence and ability to link play with his back to goal have greatly impressed Wenger.

Giroud’s new deal will be worth £80,000-a-week and follows a flurry of other contract extensions for key first-team players. The new signings and contracts have all contributed to a big increase in an annual wage-bill that now stands at just over £180 million and which, for the first time in more than a decade, is understood to be higher even than Chelsea.

Giroud’s previous contract expired in 2016, the same year as Walcott, with Arsenal now preparing for talks with the England winger. The added spending on fees and wages over the past year has been largely funded by a series of commercial deals that have seen Arsenal greatly increase their revenues. Further major signings are unlikely in January but the club would have around £15 million to spend on a right central defender or holding midfielder.

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