June 24, 2024

LAFC’s prolonged search for a striker may finally be over with the acquisition of Olivier Giroud, who is poised to join the team this summer.

Giroud reportedly finalized his move earlier this week, signing an 18-month contract that will keep him with LAFC until the end of the 2025 Major League Soccer season, as confirmed by transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.

The 37-year-old, who boasts a World Cup title, will reunite with former France teammate Hugo Lloris, providing valuable experience to the 2022 MLS Cup champions for the next few seasons.

Olivier Giroud - Player profile 23/24 | Transfermarkt

Despite LAFC’s consistent performance without a true center-forward, Giroud’s addition is expected to bolster their efforts to secure a third consecutive MLS Cup final appearance and fully unlock their attack’s considerable potential.

LAFC’s quest for a new No. 9 has been widely known, and they’re soon set to acquire one of the most renowned strikers of the past decade. While club icon Carlos Vela, who delivered 147 goal involvements in 188 appearances for LAFC and is currently a free agent, remained productive last season with 14 goals across all competitions, signs of decline at 35 were evident. Additionally, Vela’s natural position has always been more on the wing than upfront, even though he performed adequately as a striker alongside Denis Bouanga and Cristian Olivera.

Bringing in Giroud, despite being older than Vela, represents a strategic move for LAFC. Giroud has proven his effectiveness with an impressive tally of 13 goals and eight assists in 30 appearances for Milan this season. His arrival allows Mateusz Bogusz to return to his favored midfield role, relieving head coach Steve Cherundolo of relying heavily on Bouanga for goals. In the 2023 season, Bouanga claimed the Golden Boot award with 20 goals in the regular season, accounting for 37% of LAFC’s 54 goals. With Vela’s nine goals no longer in consideration, the team’s second-highest scorer, full-back Ryan Hollingshead, netted only seven goals, highlighting the need for additional firepower upfront.

LAFC boasts a roster already steeped in winning experience, but Giroud’s addition aligns perfectly with the team’s ambitions of consistently contending in finals and hoisting trophies. Since their MLS debut in 2018, the Western Conference outfit has secured one MLS Cup, one Campeones Cup, and two Supporters’ Shields, in addition to making two Concacaf Champions Cup finals.

In addition to his prolific goal-scoring record, Giroud brings a wealth of silverware from his illustrious career. The former Chelsea and Arsenal stalwart has lifted four FA Cups, a Europa League and Champions League trophy, a Serie A title, and notably, the 2018 World Cup with France. With Giroud’s winning mentality complementing players like Bouanga and Ilie Sanchez, who share a hunger for more titles, LAFC is poised to reach more finals with their new target man leading the line.

Giroud joins a growing list of seasoned veterans making the leap to MLS from Europe, as the league continues to prioritize both established stars and emerging talents. The influx of players such as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Emil Forsberg, Gareth Bale, and Giroud himself underscores MLS’s appeal as a destination for top-tier talent seeking new challenges and opportunities.

Olivier Giroud to be the next European star in MLS as AC Milan star secures  Stateside summer move to LAFC | Goal.com Nigeria

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