Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has defended Olivier Giroud against recent criticism and feels the 28-year-old is as much a top-level striker as Theo Walcott.
Giroud has been struggling to find his best form this campaign and Wenger has preferred Walcott up front in Arsenal’s last three Premier League games.
Nevertheless, Wenger refuses to write off Giroud and has stressed both attackers will get plenty of playing time this season.
“With Giroud it is a competition with Walcott,” Wenger told the official Arsenal website. “When one plays people always ask, ‘Why did you not play the other one?’
“When you have two top-level strikers, some games Giroud plays and some games Walcott plays. Nobody anymore can play 60 games per season.
“What we want to do is make the right decision for the right game. Giroud is a guy who has a positive attitude, who is ready to have a go.
“He is a very strong man and with his back to the wall Giroud can always respond. I think he has assets in the game.
“For two guys it can be interesting for the squad as they both have different qualities. They complement each other very well.
“[Giroud] can protect the ball, he can hold the ball, he can bring other plays in.
“That’s one of the big parts of his game, that is why he creates so many chances and that is why the other players love him and love to play with him as well.”