Olivier Giroud is likely to join Major League Soccer this summer, with LAFC among the clubs targeting the French forward. Recent reports out of Europe suggest Los Angeles Football Club has already sent Giroud a contract offer. This would start in the summer after his current deal with AC Milan ends. Giroud would thus be the latest European star to make the move over to MLS after a starring career for club and country.

While Giroud would be a welcome signing as a top player from Serie A, there are several concerns with this move for the club and the league. Individually, there is nothing wrong with this move. He would have a French connection on the team in Hugo Lloris, as the goalkeeper is someone actively pushing for this move. Also, living in Los Angeles would fit someone with his fashion sense. On the topic of sport, though, his days are numbered.

Giroud, at the age of 37, is not in his prime. Even though he maintains an eye for goal with 12 goals and eight assists in 26 Serie A appearances this season, the French striker is not getting any younger. Giroud is turning 38 in September. Before even kicking a ball, he would be the seventh-oldest player in Major League Soccer. Each of the older players at Inter Miami, including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, are younger than Giroud. LAFC would therefore only get one or two full seasons out of the French World Cup winner. With Giroud likely demanding heavy wages on a designated player contract, this move would not be a practical long-term solution.

That said, LAFC may not be in a long-term look. The 2022 MLS Cup Champion narrowly missed out on going back-to-back when it lost to Columbus in the MLS Cup Final. Making a splash on a proven striker can provide LAFC with a partner for Denis Bouanga.

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LAFC should look younger than Olivier Giroud

Cristian Olivera is getting much-needed minutes as he continues to adjust to life in Major League Soccer since moving from Uruguay in the middle of last season. Mateusz Bogusz is in the same boat, as the 22-year-old has started several games for LAFC. Goal-scoring for LAFC has been an issue relying on these young players. Scoring just two goals in the club’s first four games of the season perhaps raised some alarms in the LAFC camp.

Yet, those struggles will come with young players. This early season playing time will pay dividends later in the season and into future campaigns for young players. If LAFC were to bring in Olivier Giroud, he would earn more minutes and consequently sap the experience for the younger players. Granted, the salary cap of Major League Soccer forced the hand of clubs, but Giroud would be a panic buy.

MLS backtracking

Major League Soccer has done well to move away from players beyond their prime and opt for younger talents. Riqui Puig, Thiago Almada and Cucho Hernandez are just some of the examples of MLS bringing in young players that have proven they can develop into talented products. The jury is still out on some of LAFC’s young players. Yet, supporting them can help the developmental aspect of the league.

The key argument for signing Giroud is short-term. He would sell tickets, jerseys and MLS Season Pass subscriptions because he is a big name. Broadcasters would have the opportunity to say the games involving Lionel Messi and Olivier Giroud are a rematch of the 2022 World Cup Final. That will last all of one or two seasons. Even if Giroud is an entertaining and elite player in soccer, there are other players LAFC and MLS can look.


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