Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has hailed the club’s summer signing Olivier Giroud as a player who brings the much needed championship mentality to a Gunners side that has endured seven consecutive seasons without winning a trophy.
Giroud arrived from Montpellier and linked up with his new teammates last month amid speculation that his transfer is manager Arsene Wenger’s contingency plan for the probable departure of want-away skipper Robin van Persie.
While the proven Premier League pedigree of van Persie is highly difficult to match, Koscielny has backed Giroud to thrive in the English top flight despite lacking any prior experience playing in England.
“I am happy [he has joined the club] because he played very well at Montpellier. I played with him at Tours and he was a great player then – now he is even more confident and scores a lot of goals. I know his qualities and he will give a lot for us,” Koscielny stated in an interview with Arsenal Player.
The 26-year old added: “I know he has the physical quality to play in this league. For a striker it is [about] confidence and I am sure he is working hard to start well with Arsenal.
“He is tall, like Marouane Chamakh, and is also good with his back to goal. I think if we play with technical guys he will be happy, and in the box he is a good finisher.”
Giroud’s prospective partnership with fellow summer signing Lukas Podolski has already drawn a lot of excitement among the Gunners faithful but there have also been a few concerns about the Frenchman’s limited experience at the highest level.
However, having been a relative newcomer to the highest level when he joined Arsenal in 2010, Koscielny knows all about the struggle involved and knows that Giroud is more than capable of adapting.
“We have had the same career, and we had some difficulties when we were younger. Now it is better for us and we work a lot – we have found coaches who gave us confidence,” Koscielny explained.
“I first met Olivier at Tours, where we played one year together. It was the first year for the club in the second division and we finished sixth – Olivier scored a lot of goals.
“After that I left for Lorient and he stayed one year, and he won the award for top scorer. After that he went to Montpellier and scored a lot of goals. He is a champion with Montpellier and I am very happy for him,” the defender concluded.