Olivier Giroud vs Robin van Persie: One beats the other in five key categories

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has labelled Olivier Giroud as the complete striker.

Arsene Wenger has told reporters of the Mirror that Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud isn’t as elegant as Manchester United’s Robin van Persie, but the Frenchman is the complete striker nonetheless.

The former Montpellier striker joined the Gunners in 2012, the same summer Van Persie enraged the Emirates faithful by opting to leave the club and join the Red Devils.

Giroud, despite not being a like-for-like replacement, was often compared to the Dutchman and it’s fair to say he wasn’t to everybody’s taste at the start of his Gunners career.

However, two years on and he is now seen as an indispensable member to the first-team squad and according to Wenger a striker who possesses all the necessary skills to succeed.

“Giroud’s style is less elegant than strikers before him like Robin van Persie, but he has progressed a lot and he is now a complete striker because he has added decisive passes to his game,” Wenger explained.

“He works for the team more than most players who contribute that many goals.”

Giroud’s improvement as a player is undeniable, but how does he compare with Robin van Persie this season?

  PositionTeamGoals per GameShots on Target per GameKey Passes per GameAerial Duels Won per GameAccurate Passes per GameBall Recoveries per GameDispossessed per GameAppearancesMins Played
Olivier Giroud FW Arsenal 0.5 0.93 0.93 3.29 16.57 1.71 1.71 14 805
Robin van Persie FW Man Utd 0.43 1.3 1.04 1.22 16.96 1.96 1.52 23 1,903

As per the table provide by Opta Stats, the results shown are pretty similar but United’s Dutch striker comes out on top in five key categories.

The 30-year-old betters Giroud with the amount of shots on target, key passes, accurate passes, ball recoveries and maintaining possession on average per match.

However, despite the statistics falling in favour of Louis van Gaal’s number one striker, the key number which observers will ultimately focus on is the amount of goals scored.

While Van Persie has notched ten Premier League goals in 23 starts this season, Giroud’s seven strikes in just nine starts is a much more efficient record and one which would exceed 25 over a full campaign.

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