Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has labelled his inform striker Olivier Giroud among the world’s best strikers and believes the Frenchman is as good as Aguero, Lewandowski and Benzema.
He also backed his attacking trio of Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott as one of the game’s top units.
With Sanchez out for this weekend’s clash against Aston Villa, Wenger is planning to start with Walcott out wide and the in-form Giroud as his main striker.
The French striker netted a stunning hat trick in Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over Olympiakos which confirmed Arsenal’s place in the Champions League last 16.
Sometimes regarded as a player not good enough to guide Arsenal to silverwares, Giroud now has scored 26 goals for the calendar year, with 10 goals in his last 12 matches, and Wenger was full of praise for the 29-year-old after the Champions League win.
He thinks Arsenal’s attacking trio can challenge the world’s best strikers and believes there is nobody better than Giroud for the less attractive tasks of a centre-forward.
When asked whether he ranks Giroud alongside strikers like Sergio Aguero, Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema, Wenger replied instantly: “Of course, and Walcott as well.
“We have Walcott, Sanchez, and Giroud who can all scores goals. They have different styles and that is very important as well.
“I never questioned the fact he [Giroud] will be a much needed striker here. If you go on counterattack of course he is not the kind of player that you want or select first.
“That is why when we played against Bayern I chose Walcott because you know you play more in your own half and you have to go out quickly. When you dominate the game and need presence in the box there is no better player than Olivier.”
Arsene Wenger was severely criticised for not going for a new striker in the summer transfer window but he now reckons that, in not spending too much on a star player who would have replaced Giroud, he has incorporated some much needed belief into a player who guided an average Montpellier side to the French title four seasons ago.
“He is in a big club and you have to accept to be questioned,” Wenger admitted.
“And I believe he can live with that and is used to it now and overall I think as well I heard someone saying if he is on the market tomorrow he would find anywhere, so that shows you as well the kind of striker he is. You do not find a lot of them.”