Giroud Arsenal’s player of the season so far, Wilshere believes

Jack Wilshere feels Olivier Giroud has been Arsenal’s most important player of the season so far, Sky Sports has reported, after the striker’s double against Southampton maintained the Gunners’ place at the top of the Premier League table.

Giroud capitalised on an error from Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc to put Arsenal ahead and later converted a penalty to seal the win and claim his ninth and 10th goals of the season for Arsene Wenger’s side. They were the 27-year-old’s first goals since the end of October, a dry spell of six games for club and country – but Wilshere believes that Giroud has been pivotal to Arsenal’s early season form.

Olivier has been really impressive, especially at the beginning of the season when everyone was saying that [Luis] Suarez was coming in to take his place,” Wilshere said. “For someone playing in that position it would have been tough for him to lose his place, but he has shown great character and for me he’s been our best player this season.

He holds the ball up and brings others into play,” Wilshere added. “He has learned that side of the game that the Premier League is tough and sometimes you have to push defenders off the ball.

He works so hard, he has played nearly every game, but fair play to him because he keeps going and going. He has got a great physique and a great base of fitness. Hopefully he can continue that form.

Giroud is in his second season at the Emirates Stadium, having moved to the club from Montpellier last summer. He scored 17 times in his debut campaign, playing 47 games in the process.

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