By Abhishek Mehrotra
In an exclusive interview with ESPNSTAR.com, Parlour spoke about Arsenal's two new signings, Lukasz Podolski and Olivier Giroud, of the summer so far and the Robin van Persie contract situation
Former Montpellier striker Giroud was joint top-scorer in France's Ligue 1, and his arrival at the Emirates ahead of the new season was confirmed by the club earlier this week.
"He [Grioud] has done ever so well in France. Arsene Wenger knows his French players very well and would have done his homework on Giroud. I'm hoping he does well. It's a different culture in England, but I'm hoping he fits in quickly. And he has got players in the Arsenal squad to help him as well. We need a few more goal-scorers in addition to Robin van Persie."
Arsenal's other recent French signing, Marouane Chamakh, failed to impress after his arrival from Bordeaux but Parlour was quick to play down fears that Giroud would suffer the same fate.
"Sometimes it doesn't work out for players. There are some players who fit in straight away and others who don't" he opined.
"I think Wenger has brought him in to hold the ball up - because Arsenal play three in midfield and it [having a player who can hold the ball high up the pitch] lets the midfield join in. He's playing against better defences in England than he did in France, but if he does do well then fantastic.
"But Arsenal fans will be happy with any new signings because over the years they've lacked a few signings."
The Gunners have uncharacteristically made two early signings - a sharp contrast to the frenetic last minute buying they did last season, and Parlour emphasised that Podolski's experience could have a big impact on the club's new season.
"Podolski will be competition for Gervinho on the left-hand side," he said. "I don't think he'll play alone up front.
"He's very experienced - over 100 caps for Germany. Arsene Wenger has always brought youngsters through but you do need experience as well and suddenly he's bringing in a bit more experience. [Mikel] Arteta last season and Podolski this season which will help the youngsters develop into better players.
"And of course, this adds a bit more competition for places which is so important in a successful side. I'm sure he's there to get a place in the Arsenal side next season."
The arrival of two forwards has stoked rumours that captain van Persie might not extend his deal which runs out next summer. Parlour felt the club would be better served selling the Dutchman in the current transfer window if he chooses not to sign a new contract.
"I don't know what it comes down to - whether Robin van Persie feels it's time to move on to another club [or something else], but I'd be amazed if he doesn't sign and despite that Arsenal don't sell him in the summer. You're looking at getting 25-30 million for a player who's in the last year of his contract. Maybe, in January if they sell him, they'd get a lot less. But hopefully, as I'm sure every Arsenal fan out there will be hoping, he signs.
"And if he does - that's great for the club because he has done ever so well. And if doesn't, I'm sure Arsene Wenger will look to move him on and try and get as much money as they can to invest in new players."
Speaking on his former club's title prospects for the upcoming season, Parlour stressed it was imperative for the London side to get off to a good start in August.
"I'm just hoping Arsenal can make the gap a bit smaller with City and try and compete, because they had a horrendous start last season and came good in the end. So if they can get a good start this season, be in the hunt then you never know with football. Stranger things have happened," he remarked.
Arsenal begin their 2012-13 Barclays Premier League campaign with a home game against Sunderland on August 18.