Olivier Giroud set to extend Arsenal contract until 2018 [L’Equipe]

Despite a summer of spending, Olivier Giroud looks still to be absolutely crucial to the Arsenal cause.

The French hitman remains Arsenal’s only experienced out-and-out front line striker.

The likes of Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez and Lukas Podolski can play through the middle but none are natural number nines like Giroud.

Whilst Yaya Sanogo is still unproven at the very highest level.

So, it comes as no surprise today that L’Equipe reveal Olivier Giroud is close to signing a new deal at Arsenal.

Giroud’s contract at the Emirates currently runs until 2016 and the reliable French newspaper suggest he has been offered a further two years on his deal.

The 27-year-old should have his best years ahead and in 2013/2014 scored a very creditable 16 goals in 36 appearances.

With Sanchez, Walcott, Ramsey and Ozil behind him, Giroud looks set for another goal-laden season.