How Newcastle United should line up if Giroud signs in January

Olivier Giroud of Chelsea at Newcastle United. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Olivier Giroud of Chelsea at Newcastle United. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images) /

The January transfer window is right around the corner, and Newcastle United are interested in landing Olivier Giroud.

Newcastle United have a lot of items on their plate that consist of altering their tactics on the pitch, a legal battle with the Premier League, renewing player contracts, and preparing for the next transfer window.

The Magpies spent £33.5m and made some quality signings in the summer, and they are eyeing one or two moves in January as well.

The most notable names that have come up in recent weeks are Boulaye Dia and Olivier Giroud. Dia currently plays for Reims in Ligue 1, and he is also the top scorer in the league with eight goals this season.

Giroud, on the other hand, is looking to leave Chelsea in search for more playing time as he wants to save his international career.

Both players would be fantastic signings for Newcastle United as the club aims to put an end to their scoring woes and fight for a place among the top ten, which is currently an open race.

In this article, though, the focal point will be Giroud and how his potential arrival would require Newcastle United to change their shape.

Steve Bruce has spent the last 16 months experimenting with different tactics and formations, but his most frequently selected formations consist of the 5-4-1, 3-5-2, and 4-4-1-1. Those options would need to be scrapped if Giroud was to make his way to St. James’ Park in January.

Best Option

The best option for accommodating Giroud into the starting eleven is the traditional 4-4-2. Giroud is not a player who can play in the number ten role in a 4-2-3-1 shape, and he is not a good option to deploy on the wing in the 4-3-3 formation either.

Callum Wilson will undoubtedly remain the primary striker for Newcastle United regardless of who walks through the door in January, but Giroud would fit in perfectly by playing alongside the England international. The best way to think of this possible partnership is similar to what fans witnessed on opening day.

Wilson and Andy Carroll were paired together up top in that 2-0 win against West Ham, but unlike Carroll, Giroud is more athletic, agile, and is still considered a lethal threat in front of goal.

The 4-4-2 shape would end up eliminating the number ten role, though. As a result, this would spark regular competition between Miguel Almiron, Ryan Fraser, Jacob Murphy, Joelinton, and Matt Ritchie for the winger slot on the flank opposite of Allan Saint-Maximin.

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Some fans will like that and others will not, but it is the best way to integrate Giroud as a regular starter.