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 By Kevin Palmer

Wenger tips Giroud to score 25 goals

Olivier Giroud replaced the ineffective Alexis Sanchez at Everton and scored the equaliser in a 2-2 draw.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes striker Olivier Giroud is capable of scoring 25 Premier League goals this season.

Wenger hailed his French marksman after he scored the late equaliser in Saturday's 2-2 draw against Everton at Goodison Park, with the Arsenal manager's faith in his 27-year-old forward evident in these comments.

- McNicholas: Giroud saves Sanchez after struggle
- Jolly: Everton and Arsenal show potential

He scored 16 [in the Premier League last year] and he's very convincing," Wenger told reporters, while offering no update on the injury Giroud sustained in the closing stages of the match at Everton.

"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."

Wenger was again asked whether he would look to add to his striking options in the final week of the transfer window, but he insisted he was looking to strengthen other areas of his squad before the August 31 deadline.

"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 [Sanchez] and [Theo] 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."

Wenger believes Saturday's 2-2 draw was evidence that his team have grown from last season, when they repeatedly struggled to produce battling performances against their chief title rivals away from home.

"It is a big confidence boost for us because you wonder if it will be a repetition of last season," added Wenger. "We have shown a completely different response. I'm very happy and proud of that."

Arsenal will look to take the positives from their display at Everton into Wednesday night's Champions League play-off clash against Besiktas at Emirates Stadium. The tie is evenly balanced after a 0-0 draw in the first leg last week.


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