Arsene Wenger has insisted he is not looking to replace Olivier Giroud in the centre-forward role and revealed what he is looking for in his striker transfer targets this summer.
The Arsenal manager was full of praise for his muscular French forward and admitted he was relieved to have him available once again after a foot injury had provided an opportunity for him to recuperate.
The Gunners have been linked with a number of strikers in the current transfer window and Wenger confirmed he was on the lookout for a forward in the summer, but not as a replacement for Giroud.
"I looked for a striker last summer that could play with Giroud and without Giroud. In my mind, it was not absolutely to replace Giroud, it was to play with or without him," he told reporters.
"After, we took [Mesut] Ozil, who is a bit off-the-striker. But we could have taken someone who plays up front and play in a 4-4-2."
After revealing what he was on the lookout for in a new recruit, Wenger praised the former Montpellier man for his strength, desire and willingness to sacrifice himself for the team.
"We have small players who combine quickly, so to find someone who can hold it, keep the ball, make some room for other players... He does that very well," he added.
He gives us a very good balance."He's a tough, tough boy. Even when the medical people say he should rest, he says, 'I'm alright.' He needed five stitches after the game at Newcastle. He played the whole game at Newcastle with an open ankle and without complaining. And when I took him off, he didn't want to come off!"
"He's tough. He's always ready for a fight even when he's tired. I was always there thinking, 'I have to rest him, I have to rest him, I have to rest him.' Then, on the Friday night, I always changed my mind!"
Giroud has 11 goals in all competitions for the Emirates Stadium club so far this season, but found the net for the first time sine November in the win over Newcastle United two weeks ago, while also picking up the injury that has kept him out since.
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