After Arsenal captain Robin van Persie left London for Manchester United last season, their scoring hopes were plunged on 25-year-old Frenchman Olivier Giroud.
Arsene Wenger paid a reasonable £13 million for the Ligue 1 top goalscorer in the 11/12 season, so goals were expected of him, but they were in short supply.
Giroud was one of the biggest reasons why Montpellier soared from 13th place in the 10/11 season, to winning the league in the 11/12 season. He scored an impressive 21 goals in 36 Ligue 1 starts, not being subbed off once, and only missing two games of the campaign.
This goal scoring ability caught the attention of Wenger, and rightly so, as it was a great season for him. He had also claimed Ligue 2 player of the year and top scorer in the 09/10 season, propelling Montpellier into top flight French football.
Last season Giroud had huge expectations, attempting to fill the boots of Van Persie, and comparisons were made throughout the season. If Giroud missed a shot, you were guaranteed someone would comment on the fact that Van Persie could have scored that which didn't make Olivier's job any easier.
Admittedly, he did squander the occasional chance which he should have scored, and didn't really emulate what Wenger saw of him in the south of France, but he did manage to score an admirable 11 goals in 24 starts.
This season, however, Giroud is showing form completely different to that of last season. Not only is he scoring more goals, he is performing better on the pitch. His finishing has vastly improved, he is making better runs, and his awareness for other players has also got better.
So far this season he has scored seven goals in 15 appearances in all competitions, picking up another two assists in this weekend's game against Norwich.
Giroud is a fine example of how the Premier League differs to Europe's other top leagues, and why we shouldn't judge a player's ability in their first season while they are still adjusting to the tempo and physicality of the league.
As Giroud has shown, often they just need time to adapt.
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