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?
|Position||Team||Goals per Game||Shots on Target per Game||Key Passes per Game||Aerial Duels Won per Game||Accurate Passes per Game||Ball Recoveries per Game||Dispossessed per Game||Appearances||Mins Played|
|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.