Giroud: I have started better than Van Persie did at Arsenal

Olivier Giroud insists his debut season for Arsenal has been more impressive than Manchester United forward Robin van Persie’s.

The 26-year-old joined the Gunners in the summer along with Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla after helping Montpellier to an unexpected league triumph in Ligue 1 last season.

And with 14 goals to his name so far, plus 10 assists across all competitions, Giroud believes he is finally starting to settle and prove those doubters, who felt he would struggle to replace the Dutchman, wrong.

“For the first season … It’s better than Van Persie when he arrived here, although when he arrived at Arsenal [2004], he was younger [he was 20],” Giroud told L’Equipe.

The club were linked throughout the winter period with moves for both Schalke’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Barcelona’s David Villa, but Giroud believes he still retains the faith of manager Arsene Wenger, even if he has admitted to being concerned about the rumours in the past.

He added: “The British press has talked so much. The coach is not really okay for the winter market.

“It would be hypocritical to say that I did not think about it. After that, I have always believed that the coach would leave me time, I did not see him cutting the grass under my feet.”

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