Olivier Giroud says he was happy to hear Arsene Wenger talking up Jackson Martinez because the inevitable transfer rumours spur him to improve as a striker.
The Arsenal frontman has been in spectacular form since returning from a serious ankle injury earlier this season, scoring eight goals in his last 12 appearances. But his good form has not stopped newspapers linking the Gunners with a variety of strikers deemed to be of a higher quality.
Recently, Wenger hit headlines by hinting at a move for Porto striker Martinez. With his release clause standing at £27.5 million, plenty are now expecting the Frenchman to make a move this summer.
Wenger told Bein Sports: "He could play in the Premier League, Jackson Martinez, because he has the body to make the difference.
"He uses in a very intelligent way his body, very short backlift and is a very good finisher."
But Giroud says he is not deterred by the rumours that Arsenal are after a new striker and insists his figures this season are not too far behind that of Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa.
"When people are talking about a player to come and take your place, you take it personally because it's your position"
Taking it personally
"I don't have an inferiority complex. I don't have their name, but -- in terms of stats -- I am just behind Costa and Aguero," he told L'Equipe.
"When people are talking about a player to come and take your place, you take it personally because it's your position. I hear people say, 'They have Giroud and Welbeck but they need a world-class striker.' Meaning, us, we're not world-class forwards.
"It spurs you on. Recently, there was a buzz around [Porto striker] Jackson Martinez. The coach has said good things about him, the player has said he would like to come. I learned that before the Middlesbrough game [a 2-0 win]. It gave me added motivation. I was very happy to score those two goals."
Do Arsenal need a new striker?
Plenty of people have been critical of Giroud since he arrived from Montpellier in 2012 with some suggesting he is not prolific enough to lead the line of a title-challenging team.
However, having scored his 50th goal for the club against Crystal Palace and proving an excellent target man against the likes of Manchester City, it is clear Giroud is more than capable.
When the summer transfer window opens, Wenger's priorities should lie in midfield and possibly in the goalkeeping department. Giroud is here. He is a world-class striker.
Do you think Olivier Giroud is a world-class striker or would you like Wenger to spend big on a replacement? Give us you views in the comments box below!
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