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Olivier Giroud

'Giroud is world's best target man' - Belhanda talks up Arsenal striker's talents

10:30 GMT+3 06/10/2017
Olivier Giroud Arsenal
There is no one better than the Gunners forward in that role, according to a former Montpellier team-mate that won the title with the Frenchman

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is the world’s best target man, according to his former Montpellier team-mate Younes Belhanda.

The 31-year-old has not always been a guaranteed starter throughout his time at Emirates Stadium, but his contribution remains without question.

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His physical presence offers a useful alternative in the final third for Arsene Wenger, while he recently became just the 19th player in Gunners history to reach 100 goals for the club.

Giroud also boasts 27 goals in 66 appearances for France, with Belhanda among those happy to talk up his value and standing in the global game.

The Galatasaray defender, who won the Ligue 1 title alongside Giroud in 2011-12, told RMC Sport: “For me, Olivier is one of the best forwards in his role.

“He’s someone who keeps the ball up really well, who knows how to make his number 10 or his wingers play because he has a target man game few strikers have.

“There isn’t a striker in the world who’s better than him as a target man. Especially with the France team, he scores, so you can’t hold anything against him. 

“At club level, he doesn’t play that much, but when you have a player in the national team who scores and helps the team win, you can’t say anything.”

Giroud is yet to start a Premier League game for Arsenal this season, with the summer arrival of countryman Alexandre Lacazette presenting him with added competition.

He has, however, made seven appearances off the bench, while also figuring in the Europa League and Carabao Cup.

Two goals have been netted in his 10 outings to date, with the most recent of those – against BATE – seeing him to a century of strikes for the Gunners.

That landmark has been reached in 237 appearances, with Giroud having passed double figures in each of his five full seasons in north London – breaking the 20-goal barrier on two occasions.

His next opportunity to add to his tally at club level could come on October 14, when Arsenal return to domestic action with a trip to Watford.