Wilshere: Giroud has been best Arsenal player

Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil may have stolen the headlines, but striker Olivier Giroud has been dubbed Arsenal's best player of the season.

That is the view of England midfielder Jack Wilshere, who has been blown away by the improvement in Giroud.

The 27-year-old, who signed for Arsenal from Montpellier for a reported fee of £9.6million in June last year, scored 17 goals in his first season at the club.

But the France international has stepped up this season, and his double in the club's 2-0 win over Southampton – that saw Arsenal extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points – took his tally for the campaign to 10.

In the absence of another recognised senior striker, Giroud has been Arsene Wenger's primary attacking outlet, and Wilshere has lauded the Frenchman's work rate.

"Olivier has been really impressive, especially at the beginning of the season when everyone was saying that (Liverpool striker Luis) Suarez was coming in to take his place," Wilshere said.

"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."

Giroud has played every minute of Arsenal's Premier League and UEFA Champions League campaigns this season.