Why Arsenal's Olivier Giroud Can Be the Best Striker in the Premier League
A glance at the sports pages of almost any major newspaper will show Arsenal linked with a host of strikers.
The Gunners are expected to join the Premier League's big spenders this summer, and a new centre-forward is reportedly top of their agenda. The Telegraph claims they are eyeing both Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetic and Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain.
Arsenal fans will be delighted to see their club linked with such big stars, but they also hold out hope that a striker they have already signed could develop into a world-class forward.
Go to the next slide to discover why Olivier Giroud has all the ingredients required to become the Premier League's top striker.
He Is Fully Adapted
Olivier Giroud's tally of 11 Premier League goals from 24 starts in 2012-13 is impressive. It becomes even more creditable when you consider that this was Giroud's first season in English football.
Players arriving from Ligue 1 often need time to acclimatise to the specific demands of the Premier League. Robert Pires was largely ineffective in his first season at Arsenal before later becoming a highly decorated Footballer of the Year.
Already Giroud has matched the total of experienced Premier League campaigners like Jermain Defoe and Carlos Tevez.
In 2013-14, with a season of English football firmly under his belt, he will hope to break the 20-goal mark.
Time Is on His Side
It is easy to forget that Olivier Giroud is still only 26.
When Didier Drogba left Chelsea as a Champions League winner, he was 34 years old and still tormenting Premier League defences on a regular basis.
Like Drogba, Giroud is something of a late developer. As recently as 2008, he was playing in the third tier of French football with Istres.
If Giroud continues his rapid rate of progression, he should be a force to reckon with for years to come.
He Has the Physical Attributes
To survive in the Premier League as a striker, you need to be prepared to withstand some particularly heavy challenges. In his first season as an Arsenal player, Olivier Giroud has shown he is up for the challenge.
Back in April, Arsene Wenger said of Giroud:
He has good physical potential and basic stamina and he can absorb the games, and the body-to-body because he's a strong guy. I think you will see more from him next season. There's a lot more to come from him.
Giroud has shown he is ready for a fight, and the Premier League is a division where fighters flourish.
He Has the Technique
Giroud's physical attributes are complemented by outstanding technique. His instant control is second-to-none.
Giroud's first goal in the FA Cup tie with Brighton is a perfect example of his elegant finishing ability. Receiving a lay-off from Lukas Podolski, he curled the ball beautifully in to the top corner from fully 20 yards.
Giroud's second goal in the game was just as good, but entirely different. He took down a high ball, held off the defender and smashed the ball in to the roof of the net.
It's that combination of technical excellence and raw power that makes Giroud such a unique threat.
He Has the Support
A goalscorer cannot thrive without creative players around him.
Olivier Giroud is blessed in that he can rely on the talents of Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott to provide him with scoring opportunities.
With players as gifted as those individuals behind him, Giroud will always stand a chance of emerging as one of the Premier League's top marksmen.
What do you think? Can Giroud become the best in the Premier League? Let us know below.