Olivier Giroud is set to complete a move from Chelsea to AC Milan on Friday, on a two-year contract worth £3million a season and for a £1m fee.
The French striker signed for Arsenal back in 2012 and spent six-and-a-half seasons in North London, before moving across the capital to the Blues in January 2018.
Giroud scored 144 goals in all competitions across his nine campaigns in English football – an average of 16 per season – and had an evident penchant for the spectacular, gaining a reputation for netting outrageous strikes.
So below, Sportsmail counts down his top 10 best goals for Arsenal and Chelsea, encompassing a perfect hat-trick, an overhead kick and that Puskas Award winner.
Olivier Giroud is shortly set to complete a move from Chelsea to AC Milan for £1million – so Sportsmail has ranked the Frenchman’s top 10 goals from his nine seasons in English football
10. The sumptuous turn
Liverpool 3-3 ARSENAL, January 13, 2016
Five years ago it was Arsene Wenger v Jurgen Klopp in a thriller at Anfield which saw Wenger’s side stay top of the Premier League despite Joe Allen’s late equaliser.
Joel Campbell – remember him? – feeds a ball into the box which deflects off Alberto Moreno. Mamadou Sakho slips but Giroud reacts quickest, flicking the ball with his left heel, turning past the helpless Kolo Toure and whipping it into the corner.
He missed an open goal in the first half, but when you’ve sent an ‘Invincibles’ defender for a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit, who cares?
Olivier Giroud celebrates netting for Arsenal in a 3-3 thriller against Liverpool in January 2016
9. The belter
ARSENAL 3-0 West Ham, March 14, 2015
Vintage Gunners, this. A cute one-two with Mesut Ozil, the German finds Aaron Ramsey, and Giroud takes it off his toes. 12 yards out, to the right of the box, great angle for a left-footer. We all know Giroud has the curled finish in his locker, so we expect that.
Giroud, 34, belted in from a tight angle against West Ham in 2015, right into the postage stamp
Why smash the ball with your laces when a curler will do? Because it looks and sounds nice when you belt it right into the postage stamp, in off the post, which is exactly what he does here.
8. The composed run
CHELSEA 2-0 Southampton, April 22, 2018
FA Cup semi-final, half-time, 0-0. During the break, Antonio Conte has probably told his Chelsea side to sharpen up in attack.
A minute later, Eden Hazard slips it through to the Frenchman. Four defenders around him – behind, left, in front, right, plus the goalkeeper, like the final boss level of an impossibly hard computer game.
Giroud pauses, semi-dummies, chops inside on his left, nudges it back the other way with his right. One more touch out of his feet, a pause and then he stabs it into the empty net with his right foot. 1-0, five players on the floor, including Giroud.
The Frenchman beat four defenders and the goalkeeper to score against Southampton in 2018
7. The cheeky chip
Sevilla 0-4 CHELSEA, December 2, 2020
A perfect hat-trick and a penalty for Giroud was not a bad return as he scored all four in a European demolition of Sevilla, becoming the oldest hat-trick scorer in Champions League history in the process.
His third wasn’t bad but his second was a class apart. As Jorginho funnels it forward to Mateo Kovacic, he shuttles slightly to his right to open up a half-yard of space to the left.
Kovacic pokes it through, Sergi Gomez overcommits and slides in, Giroud breezes past him and lifts it over the advancing goalkeeper with his right foot. It didn’t even look like he broke sweat.
6. The sideways scissor kick
Crystal Palace 1-2 ARSENAL, August 16, 2015
Ozil hangs a cross to the back stick, Damien Delaney gives Giroud half a yard of space, which is to say half a yard too much space.
The ball is behind Giroud, but even as he falls backwards he connects sweetly with a side-on scissor kick volley and finds the bottom corner, showing that making the difficult look easy is an art form.
Back in 2015, the striker scored a superb sideways scissor-kick volley against Crystal Palace
5. The wondrous technique
ARSENAL 1-2 Manchester United, November 22, 2014
The game was basically already gone after Wayne Rooney’s 85th-minute goal made it 2-0, but Giroud doesn’t care about game situations, he only cares about scoring goals. A hopeful chipped ball over the top, it bounces three times.
Paddy McNair chasing him is so confident Giroud won’t score that he takes a full-on look at the linesman to check if he’s offside. Seconds later, it’s in the top corner thanks to a half-volley, showcasing wondrous technique. Shame about the mohican.
Oliver Giroud pounces to net a consolation strike for Arsenal against Manchester United
4. The velvet touch
ARSENAL 3-1 West Ham, April 15, 2014
The 55th minute, scores level at 1-1. Thomas Vermaelen, not far beyond the halfway line, belts a 50-yard pass over the top in the vague direction of an Arsenal shirt.
Experienced defender Winston Reid gives Giroud a cursory nudge and Andy Carroll doesn’t challenge for the header, because why would you when the ball is going out of play?
Only it’s not, and Giroud’s gorgeous, adhesive, velvety touch kills the ball stone dead before he thrashes it with his weaker foot through the legs of Adrian. Reid, on his backside, vows not to underestimate him again. Too late, though, Winston.
Giroud displayed a gorgeous, adhesive, velvety touch before a goal against West Ham United
3. The long-range stunner
ARSENAL 3-0 Manchester City, August 10, 2014
Almost all the good aspects of Giroud’s centre-forward play are encompassed in this goal. He wins the flick-on from the goal kick, uses his body cleverly to hold off Bruno Zuculini, and slams it in from 25 yards. Dipping shot, game over, trophy secure.
‘You don’t always expect him to score goals like this,’ says the co-commentator, naively. Yes, you do.
The ex-Montpellier star smashed in against Manchester City in the 2014 Community Shield
2. The overhead kick
Atletico Madrid 0-1 CHELSEA, February 23, 2021
A tricky European knockout tie against Atletico Madrid, deadlocked at 0-0. Defender Mario Hermoso knocks Marcos Alonso’s cross high up into the air. Giroud is on the penalty spot, world-class goalkeeper Jan Oblak is in a great position.
From there he improvises superbly, sending an acrobatic, superbly timed overhead kick right into the corner for what proved the winner. Chelsea eventually go on to win the competition.
He scored the winner in a crucial Champions League knockout match with this overhead kick
That acrobatic Olivier Giroud goal against Atletico Madrid.
— Football Tekkers (@BallTekkers) May 26, 2021
1. The scorpion strike
ARSENAL 2-0 Crystal Palace, January 1, 2017
New Years’ Day. Managerial legend Arsene Wenger reportedly called it the greatest ever goal he saw at the Emirates, and he had a few.
Early in the game, Arsenal break up a Crystal Palace attack and play the ball up to their target man. James Tomkins racing up behind him, Mathieu Flamini pressuring him from the other side.
Go down, look for the free kick, goes the conventional wisdom in that situation. But Giroud knows it’s on.
He back-heels it to a free team-mate and starts a 70-yard sprint upfield. The ball is played to Alexis Sanchez, edge of the box, who cuts back and floats the ball in.
The forward won the Puskas Award after this ridiculously good scorpion kick against Palace
FIFA Puskas Award winner 2017: @_OlivierGiroud_ 👏👏👏
Congratulations Oli, we’re all proud of you 🙌 #TheBest#NaNaNaNaa 🦂👑 pic.twitter.com/JZfuTf9NOC
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 23, 2017
Unfortunately, the Chilean misjudges the cross – it’s well behind Giroud, who may have slightly overran it too. Palace have recovered well and have their whole back four in the box to mark the lone attacker. Danger over, right?
Wrong. Giroud tries flicking his left foot from behind his head in a Rene Higuita-inspired scorpion kick. He deserves the Nobel Prize for Brass Cojones for even attempting this.
With time seeming to slow down, the ball kisses the outside of his left foot, crashes off the crossbar, past the despairing dive of Wayne Hennessey and, inexorably, bounces in as the Emirates erupts in delight and shock.
After the game, he called it lucky. Maybe, but the athleticism, impudence and imagination to pull it off make it one of the best Premier League goals of all time. He later, deservedly, won the Puskas Award for the ‘most beautiful’ goal of the year.