COMMENT By Dominic Toner

Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud is hugely underrated in Arsene Wenger’s side.

The 30-year-old has been a consistent performer for the Gunners in recent years but has still been largely criticised by sets of the club’s supporters.

The French international is currently playing a secondary role behind attacker Alexis Sanchez, who has scored an impressive eight goals in 15 games.

Giroud has returned a respectable three goals from his eight appearances this season and scored a brace off the bench in the 4-1 victory over Sunderland.

He is now battling to earn his starting place in the side but has certainly had his fair share of harsh critics in recent seasons.

The striker moved to the Emirates in 2012 from Montpellier for just £12million and has definitely justified that price tag.

Giroud has made 195 appearances for the Gunners, scoring an impressive 85 goals and supplying 36 assists in return.

He has scored over 10 Premier League goals in each of his four seasons in England and has twice reached a tally of 16 league goals, in the 2013/14 and 2015/16 campaigns.

The Frenchman may not have the style and skill of club greats Thierry Henry or Dennis Bergkamp, but he has certainly proven himself to be a goal scorer.

Arsenal are currently fourth-placed in the league table and just two points adrift of league leaders Liverpool, with the club’s supporters hopeful of a first domestic title since the 2003/04 season.

Giroud will play a key role for the club if they are to challenge at the top-end of the table and will continue to contribute with key goals, albeit if they come as an impact substitute.

In other Arsenal news, Mesut Ozil has sent a message to the club’s supporters ahead of the Manchester Untied match.