Arsene Wenger believes Olivier Giroud has become ‘an animal’.

The Frenchman has been on fire since his return from a broken leg that he suffered at the start of the season and which kept him sidelined for three months.

With 16 goals in his last 25 games, he’s just four goals short of his 22 total from last season with six games remaining in the season.

“Giroud has a fantastic body strength,” Wenger said. “Sometimes he became really aggressive when he was challenged, and you do not want him to be.

“Sometimes he needed to be challenged really physically to really become that animal he can be. But on the other hand, Giroud is a player who has improved tremendously technically.

“You take some pictures of Giroud when he arrived, and today he is a different player. If he can combine both, let’s not forget this guy [weighs] 92kgs. When he walks on your feet, you feel it.

“What I admire in Olivier is his mental strength as well. When a guys plays at 20 in the third division of French football and gets up again into the national team, there is some mental strength there, it is not easy.”

Still regarded by many as ‘not good enough‘ for Arsenal, his quality is there for all to see if they choose to actually open their eyes.

The difference he makes to this side when he plays is remarkable, showing strength, deft passes and a defensive awareness that is unmatched by any other striker in the division.

Now 28, Giroud is at his peak and his improvement since he arrived at Arsenal in the summer that saw the Dutch skunk leave is testament to both the manager’s vision and the player’s desire to take his opportunity and make that position his own.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.