Arsenal news: Olivier Giroud claims new striker speculation has made him a better player

The France international says criticism and uncertainty over his future only motivate him

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The Independent Football

Olivier Giroud has revealed that speculation linking Arsenal with a new world-class striker has motivated him to improve his own game.

The 29-year-old’s place in the starting line-up has been questioned ever since he arrived at the Emirates Stadium in 2012, with many believing that he lacks the quality to operate as the Gunners’ main front-man.

Giroud, however, claims that the criticism and uncertainty has ‘helped’ him and spurred him on to prove his doubters wrong.

"Obviously it helps to motivate you because when you are in your comfort zone, I think you maybe don’t give your best," Giroud told the club’s official magazine. "So it helps sometimes to have speculation like that, to prove that you deserve your place in the team.”

"It’s part of the job," he said. "In every single transfer period, there is some other striker’s name coming out as a possible new signing.

“You have to deal with that and keep focused on the team and to help the team try to win every single game. You have to give your best and that’s what I tried to do. I’m pleased with my first half of the season so far."

The France international has scored 18 goals in 36 appearances so far this season, which saw the heated speculation over his future die down by the time the January transfer window came around.

Although Giroud is pleased with his efforts this term, he hopes to improve further still and score on a consistent basis, rather than in the ‘patches’ of form he is prone to.

"Consistency is my target," he said. "Always getting better and better. I know what I can do, I’m pleased with what I have achieved so far but I really want to carry on and I’m sure I can still improve myself.

“I try to work on it every day to help the team to reach our aims and to win this league."