Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere believes Olivier Giroud has been the Gunners' best player this season, following his brace against Southampton on Saturday.
The France international has featured in every one of Arsenal's Premier League matches this term - and has repaid manager Arsene Wenger by scoring seven goals in 12 appearances.
Wilshere has subsequently praised Giroud's mental resolve following a summer of intense speculation linking Arsenal with several top class strikers, including Gonzalo Higuain and Liverpool star Luis Suarez.
"Olivier has been really impressive, especially at the beginning of the season when everyone was saying that Suarez was coming in to take his place," Wilshere was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
"For someone playing in that position it would have been tough for him to lose his place, but he has shown great character and for me he's been our best player this season."
Wilshere also feels that Giroud has toughened up this season - and that his teammate's all-round game has improved as a result.
"He holds the ball up and brings others into play. He has learned that side of the game that the Premier League is tough and sometimes you have to push defenders off the ball," the England international added. "He works so hard, he has played nearly every game, but fair play to him because he keeps going and going.
"He has got a great physique and a great base of fitness. Hopefully he can continue that form."
As well as his seven Premier League goals, Giroud has also scored three in the Champions League group stages, which means he has netted an impressive 10 goals in 19 appearances at the start of this season.