I’m sure your reaction to the title of this post is probably one of amusement, I mean, how can Olivier Giroud, the £12m man from Montpellier, be anywhere near as good as Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi?

Well, if you look at the stats, he’s not as far off as you’d think.

The Frenchman has now scored 42 goals for Arsenal since 2013/14, which is second only to Man City’s main man, Aguero.

What’s more, is that this season, the big guy has scored on average 0.7 league, non-penalty goals per 90 minutes. Messi scores 0.74 on average.

As @MessiSeconds pointed out, of course Mesut Ozil’s astonishing form has helped Giroud out, there’s no denying that. But even last season when Ozil was still just ‘brilliant’ rather than ‘other-worldly’, he was scoring 0.68.

Now, I’m not for a second actually trying to suggest that Giroud is the next Messi… However, he’s not half as ‘average’ as people seem to think he is. He’s a fantastic striker, turns up in big games and contributes to matches even when he’s not directly scoring himself.

In addition, he’s showing steady improvements. In all competitions so far this season, he’s scored on average 0.6 goals per appearance. Last season it was 0.53 and the season before it was 0.43.

To put this into perspective, Aguero is currently scoring 0.55 goals per appearance, 0.76 last season and 0.82 the season before, showing a rapid decline. Sure, injuries are likely to have hampered his game but by that much?

Do people honestly think we need a new striker?