Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere reckons striker Olivier Giroud has been the team's key player since the start of the season.
The France international took his tally for the season to double figures with a brace in the 2-0 victory over Southampton on Saturday to consolidate Arsenal's position at the top of the Premier League.
Wilshere believes the 27-year-old's impact has been all the more substantial as his place in the team was in doubt over the summer, with Arsenal's pursuit of Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.
"Olivier has been really impressive, especially at the beginning of the season when everyone was saying that Suarez was coming in to take his place," said Wilshere.
"For someone playing in that position it would have been tough for him to lose his place, but he has shown great character and for me he's been our best player this season.
"He holds the ball up and brings others into play. He has learned that side of the game that the Premier League is tough and sometimes you have to push defenders off the ball.
"He works so hard, he has played nearly every game, but fair play to him because he keeps going and going.
"He has got a great physique and a great base of fitness. Hopefully he can continue that form."