Olivier Giroud was once called a ‘flop.’

The Arsenal striker arrived in England without a big price-tag so, of course, that meant he had to be rubbish, right?

This is the logic we are dealing with in football these days.

Now in his third season with the club he has become more important to the team with every passing year.

And it’s not just his goals that matter, it’s his defensive duties, hold up play and ability to link with runners that makes such a big difference to this team and the way they want to play.

Don’t believe me?

Then check out Arsenal’s win percentage with and without him below:

Olivier Giroud and Arsenal's win percentage

For comparison (all comps):

Jack Wilshere: w/ 22% w/o 69% [we’ll be addressing this shortly]

Danny Welbeck: w/50% w/o 50%

Laurent Koscielny: w/58% w/o 40%

Perhaps you’re saying to yourself “well, he clearly missed all the hard games when he was injured/suspended“.

Games Giroud missed through injury or suspension this season:

Leicester, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Tottenham, Chelsea, Hull (x2), Sunderland, Burnley, Swansea, West Ham, Southampton (x2), Borussia Dortmund (x2), Besiktas, Galatasaray (x2), Anderlecht (x2). P20 W10 D5 L5.

Games he played in this season:

Crystal Palace, Everton, Manchester United, West Brom, Southampton, Stoke (x2), Newcastle, Liverpool, QPR, Manchester City (x2), Besiktas. P13 W8 D3 L2

READ MORE:
Aaron Ramsey sets FA Cup final record
[stats via @MarkJFine]