Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been quoted by The Mirror as saying that the Gunners 'need' striker Olivier Giroud in their squad as rumours of a move to West Ham United gather pace.
Giroud, 30, joined Arsenal from Montpellier back in the summer of 2012, and whilst he has received heavy criticism in his five years at the Emirates Stadium, he has also enjoyed some success.
The French international – who has 27 goals in 64 games for his country – has hit double figures in goals in each of his five Premier League campaigns, whilst his total record for Arsenal stands at 98 goals in 226 games.
This past season was frustrating for Giroud though. With just 11 Premier League starts, Giroud was a bit-part figure under Wenger, but he did still manage to bag 12 goals, playing something of a super-sub role at times.
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud applauds fans
Giroud may not be too happy with playing second fiddle again next season, and speculation surrounds his long-term future in North London as the transfer window gets into full swing.
Goal reported last week that West Ham United want to sign Giroud to become their leading striker, and it was even claimed that the striker would be keen to make the £20million move to the London Stadium, where he would earn £100,000-a-week in wages.
Now, manager Wenger has made a fight to keep Giroud, as he has been quoted by The Mirror as saying that Arsenal 'need' a player like Giroud in their squad next season and beyond.
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring
Wenger did acknowledge that Giroud's season was 'frustrating', but stopped short of explaining just why he started so few Premier League matches, or even promising that he would feature more next term, meaning West Ham may yet have a chance to land Giroud this summer.
“It has been a frustrating season for him because he has not played a lot. And when he has played well, he has not always played the next match,” said Wenger. “He has won us a lot of points when he has come on because he has scored lots of times. He has qualities that our team need,” he added.
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