Olivier Giroud says that Benik Afobe has proved he has the quality to succeed in the Premier League.

The former Gunner became Bournemouth’s record signing in January after scoring 19 goals on for MK Dons in League One and 23 in the Championship for Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Giroud shared a similar path to Afobe, playing in the second and third tiers of French football before moving to the Premier League, and the 29-year-old says that progressing through the league system helped him become the player he is today.

I had to leave the club and to learn to wash my clothes, cook my own food and become a man

Olivier Giroud

“Football is a tough sport and you need to be ready physically and mentally as well,” he told Arsenal Player. “It’s a huge part of the job. When you come from a lower league, you build mental abilities.

“For me it was necessary because I was young and played for Grenoble with three strikers who were older than me, with more experience. I had to leave the club and to learn to wash my clothes, cook my own food and become a man.

“You know where you come from so after you might be more ready to face difficulties at the highest level. It helped a lot and in football you have to face difficulties when you’re young.

“It helps you to become stronger when you have to face these difficulties in the future, especially at the highest level. It depends on the player. Obviously it’s easier to go through an academy and then sign professionally at 18 or 19 years old but each player is different.

“You need to get more experience and more time on the pitch, it’s very important when you are younger to improve yourself. Benik has done that in the past and now he is ready to play in the Premier League. He’s showing that he’s got the quality to score goals, so it’s nice for him.

“Since he’s joined Bournemouth, he’s scored in almost all of the games that he’s played so he’s a big threat. We need to keep an eye on him, definitely.”

Benik Afobe
Benik Afobe

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Max Jones 5 Feb 2016