Arsenal legend slams striking options amid links to Real Madrid star

Arsenal legend Martin Keown has slammed Olivier Giroud amid rumours linking the club to Real Madrid star Karim Benzema, reports talkSPORT.

The Daily Star have revealed that the Gunners are interested in the Bernabeu man, who could be an improvement on their current striking options. Last season the 27-year-old managed 15 goals and 10 assists in 29 La Liga appearances, and he has also got the experience of winning multiple league titles and the Champions League.

“I would like to see a world class centre forward coming into the club,” said Keown, “Someone that really puts the fear of God into the opposing defenders. Someone you can roll it to and they can do the rest. I see Giroud as almost like a backboard for midfield players travelling from distance to try and score goals and I think there are times when you have got to role it to the centre forward and he has to be the one that makes the difference.

“Giroud shouldn’t be underestimated. He has a big part to play in Arsenal’s success this season but I’m not sure he is up there with some of the greats that have played in the past. That [a world class striker] would take Arsenal to the next level and it would galvanise the group. It raises the bar, the rest of the group become more competitive, and there is real competition for places.

“There are lots of clubs that want a centre-forward – Manchester United, Tottenham and maybe even Chelsea and Manchester City – but Arsenal need one more than anyone else.”

During the last campaign, Giroud netted 14 times and added three assists in 27 Premier League matches. However, there have been doubts over his ability to spearhead a side challenging for the top flight title, especially in matches against direct rivals.

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The 28-year-old did silence some doubters with a well-taken goal against Crystal Palace last weekend. Although just one performance may not be enough to persuade manager Arsene Wenger that he doesn’t need to improve in the area.

If the North Londoners do miss out on the France international, then they could move for PSG ace Edinson Cavani, reports the Daily Express.

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