Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his decision to make Olivier Giroud captain against Preston North End was a reward for the striker’s patience and hard work.
Giroud continued his run of good form, scoring for the fourth straight game as he helped his side to a 2-1 victory on Saturday.
The Frenchman struggled for game time earlier in the season and has made just three Premier League starts.
Wenger explained his surprise decision to name Giroud as his captain, saying the 30-year-old had led from the front despite his lack of game time.
“I named him captain, I like to rotate the captaincy,” he said.
“He went through a period where he was of course in discomfort because he didn’t play and during this period that was quite long.
“He kept his focus and worked, I think he has shown leadership qualities so I made him captain today.”
Arsenal were made to work hard for their win, with Aaron Ramsey equalising early in the second half after Callum Robinson gave the hosts an early lead.
But Giroud would score the winner in the 89th minute after being set up by Lucas Perez.
“He scored recently many goals. In the squad, everybody contributes. It’s not about 11 and he is at the moment in good form,” Wenger said of Giroud.
“So for one month he scores goal after goal.”