By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger believes Olivier Giroud has proved that he belongs at the very highest level after a string of superb performances.

The France international needed time to settle in English football but has hit top form in recent weeks to score five goals in his last five games.

Wenger is delighted with the 26-year-old, and says he has overcome a number of obstacles to establish himself at the Club.

“There are many factors,” the manager said. “The first one is that I believe physically he worked very hard when he arrived here. The intensity of the games took a lot out of him.

“The second problem was a bit [to do with an] understanding with his partners.

“The third problem was level of confidence. When you come to a club like Arsenal, you’re surrounded by big names. It takes you a while to think ‘OK I belong in this world’ and he has shown that on that level he has gained a lot.”

Wenger insists Giroud’s unique characteristics make it tough to compare him with other Arsenal forwards that he has managed.

“He is Olivier Giroud, with his personality and his assets,” said Wenger. “He is a left-footed player with a strong body who is good in the air.

“He works very hard for the team, but as well he can be good at link play. He’s difficult to compare because it’s just him.

“What I like is that he has a good attitude and a good team spirit. He is ready to put his body on the line for the team. Once you have that and his qualities, you wouldn’t fix any limit for any player.”

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20 Nov 2012