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Wenger - Giroud has a big part to play

Arsene Wenger says Olivier Giroud will be an important member of the Arsenal squad this season - no matter who else comes in.

The French striker has impressed on the Asia Tour, scoring five goals in the 65 minutes he has spent on the pitch, including a hat-trick against Vietnam on Wednesday.

"We score goals - that is the result of our good team play, of our creativity and our pace in the game"

Arsenal have been linked with big-money moves for a host of strikers this summer but Wenger insists Giroud still has a big role to play.

“[The transfer rumours are] nothing to do with the quality of Olivier Giroud,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “It's just number-wise, we are a bit short.

“Players like Chuba Akpom have done very well again. As you said, we score goals - that is the result of our good team play, of our creativity and our pace in the game. We have a lot of pacy players and that creates a lot of danger.”

Young striker Akpom has also enjoyed a successful pre-season, scoring three times, and Wenger believes the 17-year-old possesses the raw qualities to succeed.

“It's difficult to say because you do not want to fix a limit when a player is a striker," he said. "If he was a centre back, I would say to let him go out on loan and play somewhere.

“When you are a striker, the mistakes you make are not costly for the team but the talent you have can be very helpful. It looks like he has the physical strength and the technical quality to compete so for him it's just down to mental belief now and these kind of games will help him.”

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