Jack Wilshere believes that Arsenal's summer play for Luis Suarez helped Olivier Giroud become a better striker for the club with the Frenchman motivated by the possibility of competition for his place.
Giroud has scored 10 times in 19 appearances for the Gunners this season and in his most recent showing he scored both goals in the side's 2-0 win over surprise package Southampton at the weekend.
His goals have certainly had a big hand in helping Arsenal to top spot in the table and while he continues to excel Wilshere claims that the club's search for a striker over the summer served as extra motivation.
"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," he told reporters. "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."
Much talk has been taking place over whether Arsenal will purchase another striker in the January window to ease the burden on Giroud - the only other out-and-out striker with senior experience is Nicklas Bendtner who is firmly out-of-favour - but so far the 27-year-old has been shouldering the pressure well and the Gunners are flying as a result.