Koscielny: Being tall like Giroud key as a striker

Date published: Wednesday 27th January 2016 2:04

Olivier Giroud: Linked with Bundesliga transfer

Laurent Koscielny says Olivier Giroud’s height is crucial for Arsenal at both ends of the pitch, as his ability to “smell” a goalscoring opportunity.

Giroud has scored 18 goals in 32 games in all competitions for Arsenal this season, including nine in his last 11.

The Gunners are famed for their passing game, but Koscielny says Giroud’s height is one of the most important attributes.

“He’s so massive and that’s one of the best qualities for a striker,” Koscielny told Arsenal’s website. “When he can play like this, with one or two touches and staying in the box, which is where we want him, we can score in the air.

“I think Olivier has a work rate for the team which is very high. He’s not just a forward, he’s always there (when we have) free-kicks or corners against us.

“You can see now that he smells the situations well – when he needs to shoot quickly, or control the ball, like he did against Liverpool with his second goal.”

Wenger: I always had Sanchez in my mind

Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, has revealed he first considered signing Alexis Sanchez before he joined Barcelona when he was playing in Serie A for Udinese.

“He was very dynamic and direct and straight to the point,” Wenger said of his first impressions of Sanchez. “He was one of the players where the energy and intensity hits you straight in the face.

“He is one of those players that catches your eye with his level of energy and commitment with everything he does. That is what remained with me.

“Afterwards when he went to Barcelona I found him a bit timid at the start. He wanted to adapt himself to the Barcelona style and he couldn’t express himself but slowly he got into that again.

“I saw him play for Chile against France in Marseille and I was very impressed. I always had him in my mind.”

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