Giroud has grown into an animal for Wenger

Arsene Wenger has praised Olivier Giroud for channelling his inner Diego Costa.

The Arsenal coaching staff had encouraged the French forward to use his power in a more focused way, making him much more of a challenge for defenders as Chelsea’s Brazilian has done so determinedly this season. Wenger is delighted with the transformation in Giroud.

Sometimes he needed to be challenged physically to become really that animal he can be,” the Arsenal manager said.

Having cut out some of the complaining about the knocks a lone forward inevitably takes, Wenger also points out the improvement in Giroud’s all-round play – protecting the ball, releasing team-mates and in finishing.He has the kind of game which is linked with having his back to goal, so he gets hit a lot. Sometimes that game demands as well more commitment and toughness,” said Wenger. “Olivier has a fantastic body strength.

I prefer the word commitment to aggressive – completely committed. But he is a player who has improved tremendously technically. You look at some pictures of Olivier Giroud when he arrived and today he is a different player.