Giroud, the man who makes Zlatan look like a substitute

Par Nicolas Bertucci publié le 13 Feb 2022

Currently French players are making AC Milan happy. Mike Maignan is a real wall in the cages and Olivier Giroud is making Zlatan Ibrahimović doubt. Indeed, the “Phoenix of Grenoble” has just scored two doubles in five days. Last Saturday against the leader Interistas, he allowed his team to get three precious points in the race for the title and offer an important victory to continue to believe. He did it again in the CoppaItalia quarterfinal against Lazio, participating in the Milanese recital with a score of 4-0 against an apathetic team.

A nonno that makes resistance

For many years, Giroud has been criticized, but he has always been able to grit his teeth, keep a low profile and keep the pieces together. After Benzema’s return to the French national team, it was thought that the career of the lanky French striker was over. However, the Milanese management decided to trust him, probably because no renowned striker had wanted to join the Lombardy during the summer mercato.

Transferred for a million euros, Maldini and Massara had certainly hired him to replace Zlatan Ibrahimović. We thought we would see Giroud on the bench, come back at the end of the game or play cup games. But the Frenchman has found his 20 year old legs and is currently surfing on the wave.

Should Zlatan be extended?

The Swedish giant was talking about the possibility of signing for another season, but in view of his salary of around seven million euros, and in addition to his mental impact on the group, many points are questionable. Indeed, Ibrahimović is aging, too often injured and less and less influential in the game despite his ability to score despite his 41 years. Some people attribute the return to the forefront of the rossoneri to Pioli but it is rumored that the Zlatan effect is also a big part of it.

Is it enough to extend it? Can we afford to keep a player who spends half the time in the infirmary while Tonali and Bakayoko have agreed to lower their salaries? Is it wise to keep a player who spends half the season in the infirmary when the team is fighting for theScudetto and wants to settle permanently in the Champions League? Management will think twice before discussing a possible extension.

Pioli in a dilemma

Eliminated from the Champions League but still in the race for the title and the Coppa Italia, Pioli considered Zlatan as the undisputed starter in the Milanese attack. Giroud has eaten up his time, grabbing minutes here and there, quickly making us forget the curse of the number 9 and proving that he is still a real fox of the surface. Experienced player, he didn’t need time to adapt and was able to perfectly substitute Ibracadabra when the Mister called on him.

Beyond his goals, Giroud shows a strong will to win, and a significant impact in the game. Much more mobile than his competitor, he never shies away from defensive efforts, does not harangue his teammates throughout the game, and proves that when he is a starter and plays with continuity, he is still capable of doing the most good in a team. He has ten goals and two assists so far this season. Aged 35, he will also be able to help grow Lazetić, Roback, Colombo etc, and why not knock on the door of the French team again.

However, it is difficult to see Pioli leave a player of the caliber of Zlatan on the bench, even if the player is not at the top of his form. The Italian coach will have to decide between feelings and the reality of the field to allow his team to dream as long as possible of a possible double.

Nicolas Bertucci

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