Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has revealed that he used to model his game on Chelsea flop Andriy Shevchenko, after admitting his admiration for the Ukrainian legend during his formative years as a professional footballer.
The retired marksman - who enjoyed an illustrious career in Italy with AC Milan - was unable to reproduce his best form during a brief spell in the Premier League, but still has a small place in the Gunners man's heart, thanks to the lasting impression he made on the £80,000-a-week star whilst growing up in his native France.
Shevchenko arrived at Stamford Bridge in a whopping £30.8 million deal in 2006, however he struggled to adapt to the rigours of English football and in three years in west London managed to contribute just nine goals in 48 appearances for the Blues.
His time at Chelsea is remembered even less fondly than Fernando Torres's ill-fated spell at the club, which is quite an achievement when you consider just how inept the Spain international - now back playing at Atletico Madrid - proved to be, following his £50 million move from Liverpool in January 2011.
"When I was young I tried to run like Shevchenko because he was a fantastic player and really elegant as well," confirmed Giroud in an interview with Arsenal.com.
"Sometimes at training I used to start running like him. He runs in a special way and he was really powerful - short but strong. I tried to imitate his shots as well.
"I don't think [my coach] noticed though, because it was a quick try. It was not an obsession!"
The 28-year-old clearly studied Shevchenko's game in close detail, which perhaps helped him forge a career at the top level, where he is now regarded as one of Arsene Wenger's main talismen, even after the summer arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona.
Giroud spent a large part of the first half of the season sidelined by injury, but after returning to action at the Emirates Stadium before Christmas provided Arsenal with a big boost heading into the busy festive period.
The Gunners have improved their form in recent weeks and now find themselves in fifth place in the Premier League table, as they look to move back into the Champions League places between now and May.News Now - Sport News