As Olivier Giroud strode through against Aston Villa on Sunday, you expected the net to ripple.
The Frenchman did not disappoint, even after getting the ball caught under his feet as Brad Guzan slid out to meet him.
A delicate, dinked finish offered Arsenal an important early breakthrough and paved the way for what was to follow – with the Gunners enjoying the most productive of afternoons as they eased to a crushing 5-0 win.
Giroud is widely acknowledged as being the most natural goalscorer on Arsene Wenger’s books, with his record in England close to one every other game (47 in 112).
He is a confident character, which undoubtedly helps, with there composure to his play which many forwards – including some of those alongside him in north London – often lack.
Wenger may be calling on Giroud to have a word in the ear of fit-again Danny Welbeck ahead of a derby date with Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
The England man has never been prolific, but he has argued to anyone willing to listen that deployment on the flanks at Manchester United held him back.
He has operated centrally on a more regular basis at Arsenal, but his conversion statistics are blown out of the water by his current attacking colleague.
|Team||Goals||Total Scoring Att||Ontarget Scoring Att||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Danny Welbeck||Arsenal / Man Utd||4||46||18||18||1,399|
When hitting the target, Giroud finds the back of the net with a little over half of his efforts (53.8 per cent), while Welbeck’s numbers are well down at 22.2 per cent.
The latter falls even further when judging him on goals to shots, with just 8.7 per cent of his attempts beating opposing goalkeepers, compared to 22.6 for Giroud – a figure that is higher than Welbeck’s on target conversion rate.
The 24-year-old does bring other attributes to the table – versatility, work rate etc – but it is clear, in Premier League competition at least, that there is work to be done on an important area of his game.
Giroud, on the other hand, appears to be going from strength to strength, with his value to the cause without question for as long as Wenger refuses to dip into the transfer market for another proven marksman.