Olivier Giroud had the chance to change squad numbers this season, with Lukas Podolski’s departure leaving the No.9 shirt vacant. The Frenchman insists he has no interest in switching digits though, as fans have already bought shirts with the number 12 on the back.
Many footballers are superstitious, or have attachments to certain numbers. Giroud claims that wearing a different number won’t magically make him a better player, and there is therefore no reason to vacate the No.12 that has served him well so far.
It’s also nice to see that he’s thinking of the fans and not wanting to inconvenience us by swapping numbers. Players changing shirts is now a part of football, but it’s nice to see him sticking with the dozen.
“I don’t want to change the number,” Giroud said (via the Daily Mail).
“I’m not superstitious. I have the nine with the national team but it was available. I don’t want to change because people have bought my shirt with the 12.
“I know nine is for the attack leader but I will not be a better player if I wear a different number.
“I don’t have a precise target but I want to score more goals than last year. It would be nice to score more than 20 and at least 17 in the Premier League.”
Giroud offers so much more to the team than just goals, but as a striker he is still going to be judged by his figures come the end of the season. Hopefully he can continue to improve in an Arsenal shirt and reach the tally he is hoping for in 2015/16.
His decision obviously means the No.9 shirt will remain vacant, possibly free for a new signing to snap up on their Emirates arrival. It would be fantastic to see a top class forward arrive at the club, as Giroud could definitely use some high quality competition.