Olivier Giroud vital for Arsenal, says Mertesacker

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Arsenal centre-back Per Mertesacker has praised the importance of Olivier Giroud.

The big German described Giroud as 'vital' to the team, and believes the Frenchman offers a number of different advantages.

“He is vital for us, and fits in completely to what we are doing,” Mertesacker told the official matchday programme.

The former Montpellier striker who won the league in France has netted six goals already this season, however, it was his deft touches in the Norwich fixture which recently caught the eye.

His stunning exchange with Jack Wilshere left fans and pundits alike purring, and Mertesacker talked up the French striker's abilities:

“He’s a tall guy but technically well educated, and the important thing is that we can play on the ground with him but, if there is pressure on us, we can put the ball in the air and he can hold it in a way that I’ve never seen.

“You can use him in different positions and angles; at the moment he is the one who fits the best up front. If he doesn’t score, he’ll make assists.”

Meanwhile Mertesacker and co. face a difficult test at the Emirates tonight as they take on Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund.

Known for their quick transitional play and high-pressure, Mertesacker believes it will be an interesting game.

The Dortmund side lost star man Mario Goetze in the summer to rivals Bayern Munich but Arsenal's German centre-half believes the side look as good as ever and has been impressed with their replacements.

“They did lose Mario Goetze, but they spent money on very good players after that,” he said.

“They brought in Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as well as Sokratis, who I know very well from Werder Bremen.

“I think they’ve replaced Goetze in a good way, and you could see from the start that the new players fit into Dortmund’s game. It’s a team full of power, full of intention to create the pressure to an extent I’ve never seen before.

"We know that we’ll have to respect their game while taking good care of our own.”

Arsenal are without summer signing Mathieu Flamini tonight, and the former AC Milan midfielder will be sorely missed, having started the season in top form.

Theo Walcott is also missing for the Gunners - he was expected to make his comeback in the Champions League clash but suffered a setback to his abdominal injury.

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Per Mertesacker

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