Olivier Giroud has been Arsenal’s stand-out performer so far this season, according to Jack Wilshere.
Premier League leaders Arsenal have been spurred by the arrival of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid and the form of Aaron Ramsey, but Giroud has scored 10 goals in all competitions, including a brace in the 2-0 win against Southampton on Saturday.
And after the Gunners’ failed attempts to sign Liverpool striker Luis Suarez as competition for Giroud this summer, Wilshere believes the France international has responded well.
"He’s been really impressive, especially at the beginning of the season when everyone was saying that Suarez was coming in to take his place," Wilshere said.
"For someone playing in that position it would have been tough for him to lose his place.
"But he’s showed great character and, for me, he’s been our best player this season.
"He holds the ball up and brings others into play. He’s learned that the Premier League is tough and sometimes you have to push defenders off the ball.
"He’s got a great physique and a great base of fitness. In preseason he’s always first in the running and that’s surprising for a striker."
The victory against Southampton came after a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United before the international break, and Arsene Wenger was delighted to see his side recover their form, and went on to claim they can win the title.
"This win shows we are ready for a fight when it didn't go as fluently as we wanted and that is the most pleasing thing," he told reporters.
"We were tested by being challenged for every single ball and we responded quite well. We always had the focus and I could never feel that we eased off. They made it very difficult for us. Southampton were the hardest opponent we have faced.
"The 2-0 [score line] flatters us, but we showed great character, hit them on the break then got a penalty. After that it was all over."