Stats: how does Arsenal striker target compare to misfiring Giroud?

Loic Remy

Arsenal are being linked with a swoop for French international striker Loic Remy, but how does he compare to compatriot Olivier Giroud?

Remy, who is currently on loan at Newcastle from Championship side Queens Park Rangers, has attracted the interest of Arsene Wenger as the Gunners boss looks to improve his strikeforce, having impressed for the Magpies in spells this season. The former Marseille hitman is almost certain to leave QPR this summer, especially if Harry Redknapp's side fail to gain promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. With Arsenal now looking to swoop in for Remy, would he be an improvement on Giroud?

Goalscoring and shot accuracy

NameTeamPosGoalsTotal Scoring Att / appsOntarget Scoring Att / appsBig Chance MissedAppsMins
Loïc Remy Newcastle FW 11 3.38 1.24 6 21 1,693
Olivier Giroud Arsenal FW 10 3.25 0.96 15 24 2,064

Despite playing almost 400 fewer minutes than Giroud – just about four and a half games less – Remy has scored 11 goals this season compared to Giroud's 10. Remy has also attempted more shots-per-game, but the impressive part of that is that a lot more of his shots have been on target. One of Giroud's big knocks is that he misses too many opportunities, and that shows with a staggering 15 big chances missed this season compared to just 6 for Remy. Giroud's 15 misses from big chances is by far the most in the Premier League, with Christian Benteke in second place with 11 big chances missed.

Dribbling and fouls won

Giroud and Remy are primarily centre forwards, but they play the game in different ways. Remy is pacy and get in behind a backline, whereas Giroud is much more of a physical presence. Those roles would suggest that Remy is a far trickier player who draws fouls regularly, but the stats don't match that. Giroud has surprisingly attempted more dribbles, but won just 16 of his 47 attempts (34%). Remy may not take on players as much as he could or should with that pace, but he has won 20 of his 40 attempts (50%). However, Giroud is fouled much more regularly as defenders try to prevent him using his strength, though none of those have led to penalties compared to Remy winning just the one spot kick this season.

NameTeamPosTotal ContestWon ContestWas Fouled / appsPenalty WonAppsMins
Olivier Giroud Arsenal FW 47 16 1.46 0 24 2,064
Loïc Remy Newcastle FW 40 20 1.10 1 21 1,693

Heading and hold-up-play

Unsurprisingly, Giroud dominates Remy in terms of aerial duels won, winning almost three times as many battles in the air. Giroud also has far more flick ons and layoffs, illustrating his ability to play as a target man by linking up play. However, a key part of being a target man is also to score headed goals, and Remy has somehow managed to score more headed goals than Giroud despite winning considerably fewer aerial duels.

NameTeamPosAtt Hd GoalAerial WonAccurate Flick On / appsAccurate LayoffsAppsMins
Loïc Remy Newcastle FW 3 35 0.76 62 21 1,693
Olivier Giroud Arsenal FW 2 103 1.63 139 24 2,064

Both strikers are likely to be included in Didier Deschamps' France squad for the World Cup this summer, but should play as backups to Karim Benzema. Yet, next season, they could be contesting for the starting role in Arsenal's side, and the statistics highlight the different styles of play, but it seems that Remy is a more well-rounded player than Giroud is.

Against Manchester United, David Moyes' side were able to comfortably deal with the Gunners' attack because everything was in front of them. Former Montpellier man Giroud didn't have the pace to trouble the ageing partnership of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, and with the superior movement skills of Remy, they could have been more threatening in the final third.

Would Remy be an upgrade on Giroud? Should Arsenal be aiming for someone better?

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