Giroud: Van Persie departure gives me the chance to shine at Arsenal

The Frenchman admits that the loss of the ex-Gunners captain puts more pressure on him to deliver straight away but is confident that he can be a success at the Emirates Stadium
Olivier Giroud insists that he is inspired rather than overwhelmed by the task of shouldering the goalscoring burden at Arsenal in the absence of Robin van Persie.

The Dutchman scored 30 goals for the Gunners in the Premier League last term but forced through a move to Manchester United in the summer by indicating that he would not entertain signing a contract extension.

Now the pressure is on Giroud and fellow summer arrival Lukas Podolski to hit the ground running in England but the Frenchman says that he is relishing the challenge.

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"If Robin had not gone it would have been fine, it would have allowed me to adapt more progressively and with more time," he told The Guardian.

"But I don't want to be fussy. I am happy. It works for me, because when you are a footballer you want to play. Inevitably, with Robin gone it will give me more playing time.

"People will expect a lot, and I really feel the desire to fulfil this expectation. It is better than if I was sitting on the bench."

Giroud rose to prominence last season, scoring 21 league goals as Montpellier defied the odds - and free-spending Paris Saint-Germain - to win the first Ligue 1 title in the club's history.

Arsenal face a similarly formidable task to overcome the Manchester clubs and Chelsea this term but the 25-year-old is not willing to rule out the current Gunners crop challenging for top honours.

"It's a good example for Arsenal," he added of his time at Montpellier. "We don't have the money of the Manchester clubs or Chelsea.

"Arsenal builds its team through training, through recruiting players who can become something. Arsenal has less money than some other clubs so we have to fight with other values.

"The collective, the group spirit, is good. We have an important role to play in this championship.

"Honestly, it will be complicated [to win the league], because the competition is fierce. But who knows?"