Arsenal's Giroud is top of the league in more ways than one…

Olivier Giroud

Arsenal are top of the Premier League after eight games played but their only senior recognised centre forward Olivier Giroud is top in more ways than one…

The 27-year-old Frenchman has been in fine form so far this term scoring nine goals in all competitions for both club and country. After a decent debut season in England, he seems to have settled in well at the Emirates and is developing and improving his game all the time under Arsene Wenger.

He arrived last summer from Montpellier where he had been joint top scorer in Ligue 1 with 21 goals – his total in all competitions was 26 goals and 15 assists overall.

Last term for the Gunners he managed 17 goals and 12 assists – this season, relied upon, heavily by the coach as pretty much the only choice up front with Nicklas Bendtner the only cover, and young Yaya Sanogo, Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski all out injured, Giroud has been holding down the fort remarkably well.

But, it’s not his goal tally that I’m pointing to in the headline, it’s his assists. Despite the abundance of creative talent on display in Wenger’s team – the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey, it’s the Gunners’ striker that’s provided more assists than any other player.

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Not just any other player at Arsenal but any other player in the Premier League so far – despite scoring 4 league goals in 8 appearances, he’s also provided a goal assist 4 times in that same period. In the Premier League, he’s averaging a goal or an assist every 85 minutes.

Interestingly, the player(s) in the league who sit behind him in second place with assists are Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil with 3 assists – incidentally the Welshman has actually scored more goals with his tally of 5 and Ozil has scored 2 in five appearances so far.

Giroud has proven more creative in terms of his delivery and precision than the likes of Ozil, David Silva, Christian Eriksen, Juan Mata, Oscar and well, anyone at Manchester United. The English champions presently have not a single player in the top 20 in the assists table of which Olivier Giroud is top.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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