Arsene Wenger has praised Olivier Giroud’s reaction to being dropped and underlined the importance of persuading the striker, along with compatriots Laurent Koscielny and Francis Coquelin, to sign contract extensions.
Giroud has four goals and two assists in his last four starts for the Gunners; a timely reminder of the qualities he brings to the Arsenal attack after several months spent on the bench as back-up to Alexis Sanchez.
Facing the press ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Swansea, Wenger drew attention to the 30-year-old’s mental strength in the face of adversity.
“When you face the situation he faced, either you feel sorry for yourself or you say, ‘I have a challenge I have to take on and work even harder’. That’s what he did.
“He benefits from the fact he has worked very hard and as well from the fact he is fresh at the moment where some other players have already played many games and sometimes need a little breather.
“He has very interesting qualities that can give you variety in your offensive game. We are a team who prefers to play on the ground, then when we don’t pass on the ground we can go as well in the air and he can still help us there.”
Wenger also touched on how the commitment shown by Giroud, Koscielny and Coquelin could help him nail down other first team stars.
“Generally I would say yes [it encourages more players to sign], because the squad has a great spirit and I believe as well that the players will want to stay together,” added the boss.
“It’s important that we have a stability in our squad and they are part of that. We are of course in the process of negotiating with other players, as you know well. We want to keep a good stability and that is what is needed at the end of every season.”