Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has challenged Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer's claim that the Gunners are three signings short of winning the Premier League, and insisted his team are good enough to capture the title this year.
John Cross of the Mirror reported Shearer believes Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger must add a centre-back, a holding midfielder and a striker to his squad in order to win the English championship, but Giroud has "rubbished" these claims, proclaiming the Emirates Stadium club are on course for glory this term:
Tell me where! Just tell me where! I will explain the opposite judgement.
We have very good players as well on the bench, young players waiting to come in. They are very talented. I am not worried about it.
Danny Welbeck will come back in a month and a half. Theo Walcott can play up front, Joel Campbell is doing well with his national team up front. If I am less good or get injured, we still have a solution.
The north London outfit maintained their superiority at the top of the division with a gritty 1-0 win against Newcastle United at home, and they lead the title race by two points from Leicester City—whose form has collapsed recently.
However, with Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United within touching distance of the leaders, Arsenal cannot afford a slip in their performance standards, as was witnessed in the 4-0 defeat to Southampton over the Christmas period.
Giroud reflected on the Gunners' chances of title glory after the Newcastle game, adding, per Cross:
To be champions in a season—and I know that because I was a champion with Montpellier—you need talent, of course, but you need a bit of luck and sometimes you cannot play a fantastic game.
We have experienced players like [Mathieu] Flamini, Per [Mertesacker], Petr [Cech] and even Lolo (Koscielny). We have a good relationship between young players and experienced players. The older players need to bring confidence to the youngest and lead them.
The Frenchman has been pivotal for Wenger this term, and his form has exploded in 2015-16. The striker has provided 15 goals in 25 appearances in the league and Europe this term, according to WhoScored.com.
Without Giroud, the Gunners would be off the pace in the Premier League, but he has fully justified his presence in Arsenal's starting XI.
Cross agreed with Arsenal icon Frank McLintock that Giroud is now a cornerstone in the club's efforts to win the title, speaking on TalkSport:
Good to hear Arsenal legend Frank McLintock praising Olivier Giroud and his "presence" on @SportsBreakfast. Knows a player...— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) January 4, 2016
Giroud is one of Europe's less fashionable talents when it comes to goalscoring, but the France international has proved his pedigree at a time when it was doubted.
Is Shearer right about Arsenal?
Other clubs have fallen by the wayside in recent months, including reigning champions Chelsea, but Arsenal have survived a scare in the Champions League and kept their domestic ambitions intact.
If the Gunners can bring Welbeck back successfully in the second half of the campaign, they will have enough firepower to finally end Wenger's 12-year title wait.
However, further injuries will puncture the club's ambitions, as the squad is thin compared to their major rivals for silverware.