Arsenal take on Besiktas at the Emirates on Wednesday in the second leg tie of their Champion League play-off. And with just a couple of days left till the end of the summer transfer window, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger believes Olivier Giroud is improving every season and would not be surprised if the Frenchman hits the 25-goal mark this term.
The 27-year-old headed home a 90th-minute equaliser to seal a dramatic comeback draw at Everton on Saturday evening.
Wenger is pleased with Giroud’s progress since he joined the club two years ago and insists he has enough attacking options in his squad to last the campaign.
“He scored 16 [in the Premier League last year] and he’s very convincing,” the manager said.
“You never have to set any limitations for any player. For me, he’s improving every year and don’t rule it out that he scores 25.
“We have Sanogo who will be an important asset, we have Giroud, we have Lukas Podolski, we have Joel Campbell who can play centre forward. We have Alexis and Walcott coming back. Let’s not forget that.
“All of our opponents look for strikers as well and nobody finds a world-class striker available who is better than the strikers you have.”
Two goals in the final 10 minutes at Goodison Park maintained Arsenal’s unbeaten start to the season and Wenger feels it was important not to go into Wednesday’s crucial Champions League qualifier against Besiktas on the back of a defeat.
“It is a big confidence boost for us because you wonder if it will be a repetition of last season,” Wenger said.
“We have shown a completely different response. I’m very happy and proud of that.
“We need a good performance. We have Besiktas at home and the task is clear for us – to win the game. At home I believe we can do it if we play with the same spirit.”
The match against Turkish side; Besiktas on Wednesday at the Emirates is regarded as a win-win situation for the Gunners as a 17th successive Champions League qualification slot is at stake should they fail to defeat Besiktas at home after a horrid goalless draw in Turkey last week.