The French forward endured a frustrating 2016-17 campaign, with a lack of regular starts sparking speculation linking him with the likes of West Ham

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal “need” Olivier Giroud as he continues to be linked with a summer move elsewhere.

The France international made 39 appearances in the 2016-17 campaign, but only 11 of his 29 Premier League outings saw him handed a starting role.

Alexis Sanchez – who is generating plenty of transfer talk of his own – was often favoured as a central striker.

Petit has faith in Wenger

Goal recently revealed that West Ham are among those willing to offer Giroud a way out of Emirates Stadium in a £20 million deal, but Wenger insists the 30-year-old forward is still a big part of his plans.

He told reporters on the exit rumours: “It has been a frustrating season for him because he has not played a lot. 

“And when he has played well, he has not always played the next match.

Olivier Giroud Arsenal Premier League

“He has won us a lot of points when he has come on because he has scored lots of times. He has qualities that our team need.”

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Giroud has spent five seasons with Arsenal, having been snapped up from Montpellier in 2012.

He has been a regular source of goals throughout his time in north London and is just two short of reaching a century for the Gunners.