• Premier League

Wenger: Striker links no criticism of Giroud

ESPN staff
July 19, 2013
Olivier Giroud netted 17 times during his debut campaign at The Emirates © Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed the recent links with strikers have nothing to do with Olivier Giroud - with the Frenchman citing a lack of depth up front as the real reason.

The Gunners have been making the headlines for their reported bids for Liverpool's Luis Suarez, while the north London outfit have also been linked with moves for Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain and unsettled Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney over the last few weeks.

However, with Giroud the only central striker at The Emirates, Wenger insists the connections with three of Europe's leading players do not have any relations with the 26-year-old.

"[The transfer rumours are] nothing to do with the quality of Olivier Giroud," Wenger said when speaking to Arsenal Player. "It's just number-wise, we are a bit short."

Giroud has impressed in Arsenal's pre-season tour of Asia, netting a hat-trick in his last appearance on Wednesday and scoring a total of five goals so far.

The French international is set for a second campaign at the Gunners after joining from Montpellier for around £9.5 million.

With 17 goals to his name during his debut season, Giroud carried the weight of the Arsenal attack on his shoulders for the majority of the campaign, with fellow debutant Lukas Podolski being played out wide on the left and Theo Walcott down the right - despite the pleas of the England winger to start through the middle in Giroud's role.

With reports suggesting Arsenal will raise their bid from £35m to £40m for Suarez - even though Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says the Uruguay international is worth £55m - it seems Wenger is keen to bolster his options up front.

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