Premier League

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud happy to have better stats than Robin van Persie

Olivier Giroud: Hoping his Arsenal form furthers his international career

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Olivier Giroud has admitted he is proud to have enjoyed a more prolific first season with Arsenal than Robin van Persie managed, and hopes to push on and establish himself in the France side.

Giroud struggled to make an impact at the start of the season after joining from Montpellier, but has started to hit form in recent times and has now netted 14 times in 34 games.

Van Persie scored 10 goals in his first year in North London and Giroud is pleased to have superior statistics, although he recognises that the Dutchman was at an earlier stage of his career.

Giroud said: "I don't know a striker who isn't interested in his statistics. Since the start of the season I've got 14 goals and 11 assists.

"For a first season it's better than Van Persie when he started, even though he was younger. When I arrived at Arsenal, there were some worries.

"But they were quickly sorted and now the Arsenal players understand if they play off me they can score."

Giroud hopes his performances at club level will boost his chances of regular inclusion with France, although he faces a battle to dislodge Karim Benzema from the side.

"I'm not quite a first-team regular. I don't want to be lacking in ambition, but I'm realistic," said Giroud, who came on as a substitute for France in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Germany.

"I know that there's a hierarchy in the French national side. Of course, you prefer being in the starting XI.

"Flourishing at a big club like Arsenal, earning my place in the side, is going to give me more credibility in the national team and allow me to let myself go a little more.

"I want to contribute if I'm called upon."

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