Arsene Wenger has lavished praise upon Olivier Giroud claiming the Frenchman has established himself as a ‘complete striker’ now that he is able to produce penetrative passes on a more regular basis.
Giroud has endured a season of mixed fortune having missed three months of it following a fractured ankle, but has been in fine form in front of goal since his return as Arsenal maintain a charge for the top four.
The 28-year-old has scored has scored seven times in his last 10 outings, including a brace against Middlesbrough last weekend in Arsenal’s FA Cup defence, to further outline how important he has become for the team.
And while Giroud may be a tad more cumbersome than some of his predecessors at the Emirates Stadium, with Wenger highlighting Robin van Persie in particular, the Arsenal manager believes he has a centre-forward of real quality.
“Giroud’s style is less elegant than strikers before him like Robin van Persie, but he has progressed a lot and he is now a complete striker because he has added decisive passes to his game,” Wenger told reporters on Friday.
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“He works for the team more than most players who contribute that many goals.”
Arsenal certainly look to be a more effective team going with Giroud at the summit of their attack, and ability to provide a focal point unlocks the skills of the more creative players scurrying around behind him.
Giroud rarely gets the praise he deserves given he is less prolific than the league’s very best goalscorers - Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa among them - but he is a player of real importance to Arsenal.
With Giroud up top and Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and others in support, Arsenal should be the favourites to clinch the final Champions League spot, or even clinch an uncharacteristic third place finish.
Is Olivier Giroud a 'complete striker' as Arsene Wenger says?