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Wenger insists Giroud 'one of Europe's best'


Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud

Arsene Wenger believes Olivier Giroud is in the same league as the best strikers on the continent and distanced Arsenal from a move for Karim Benzema.

Giroud scored a hat-trick against Olympiacos on Wednesday night as the Gunners secured their spot in the Champions League knock-out stages against the odds.

It was the culmination of a fantastic run of form from the France striker, who has now scored 10 goals in his last 12 appearances. Despite often being criticised as a forward who is not clinical enough to help Arsenal sustain a title challenge, Giroud has taken on the goalscoring burden as both Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez have been sidelined with injury this season.

And Wenger, whose side travel to the Barclays Premier League's bottom side Aston Villa tomorrow, reckons the 29-year-old is just as good as those strikers who are considered to be the deadliest in world football.

"I think he's in that league because he plays for one of the best clubs in Europe and he scores goals," Wenger said. "If you look at the number of games and the number of goals, you have to give him credit. "He's not only a goalscorer, he's a guy who puts work in for the team. I think he's among the best strikers in Europe."