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'Giroud one of the best strikers in the Premier League' - Wilshere hails Arsenal super-sub

5:18 PM GMT+8 11/12/2017
Olivier Giroud Arsenal
The Frenchman continues to contribute off the bench for the Gunners, with his team-mate of the opinion that shows the depth of Arsene Wenger's squad

Olivier Giroud is “one of the best strikers in the Premier League”, according to Jack Wilshere, with Arsenal fortunate to have such depth to their squad.

The France international has found himself nudged down the pecking order at Emirates Stadium, with Alexis Sanchez taking a central striking berth last season and Alexandre Lacazette drafted in for 2017-18.

Giroud is, however, proving to be a useful option off the bench, with a record-equalling 17th goal recorded as a substitute during a 1-1 draw with Southampton on Sunday.

A lack of game time is reported to have led the 31-year-old to ponder a move elsewhere, with World Cup places to consider, but Wilshere believes Arsenal should be doing all they can to retain the services of a proven performer who remains an important asset for Arsene Wenger.

The England international midfielder told the club’s official website: “I think it shows the depth in our squad.

“For me Oli is one of the best strikers in the Premier League when he’s on it and he’s on the bench, so it shows what we’ve got.

“There are a lot of games in December, so I’m sure he’s going to get a start and if he’s coming on scoring goals that’s massive for the team and it was an important goal for him today.”

Wilshere is another of those who has been forced to make peace with a bit-part role this season, as his contract continues to run down, but the 25-year-old insists that he is just happy to be involved.

He added: “I’m enjoying it.

“I’m enjoying playing and I want to play as much as I can. I’ve said before that I’ve missed way too much football and I’m just enjoying it at the minute.

“I don’t think it was our best team performance, but we showed character and dug in at the end and, if you can’t win a game, don’t lose a game. We might look back at the end of the season and see it as a valuable point.”

Wilshere has previously admitted that he intends to assess his situation at Arsenal in January, with there no fresh terms on the table as he enters an uncertain period of his career.

Wenger, meanwhile, has sought to assure Giroud that he remains a key part of his plans and that more starts will come his way over the remainder of the 2017-18 campaign.