Him playing a major role in Montpellier ligue 1 success is more of a testament to his mentality. He scored 21 goals that season, only really a few goals less than the numbers he's been putting up here. Eden Hazard's stats from his final season in ligue 1 to his PL seasons have dipped, not because he lacks the quality but maybe the standard opposition is better in England.
When he first signed he was an obscure name, I thought he was RVP's back up. I think supporters naturally hoped he'd help fill alot of the void but it was difficult for Giroud into come into a frustrated post RVP climate and please when he possessed attributes you don't commonly associate with the typical striker Wenger had seen the most success with.
I see Giroud as an successful experiment in tactical pluralism by Wenger. He basically found a big guy whose game was a mainly technically based player and developed him into a competent cultured PL target man. His physicality and presence in final third is something that had been missing at Arsenal for a long time. I've always said there's more to his game than goals, even when he's not scoring he offers alot. Under £9.6m for him was a coup really especially when the likes of Carroll, Benteke and Bony have been transferred for over £30M each, none of them come close to Giroud in terms of technique and link up play.
That drought has been overblown in many ways. 15 consecutive matches without a goal was largely padded by 7 15 - 20 minutes 'appearances'. He went 8 starts without a goal, which still isn't good reading but he's was just one part in a general system that failed in the 2nd half of last season. You can't really attribute the failure of the Ozil to Giroud combo as Giroud fault completely either, in the same period as Giroud's drought Ozil only registered 3 assists in 18 matches, all starts.
If you look at his scoring rate, his general fitness, mentality and general performances in relation to his cost he's objectively exceeded expectations.
Why can't you apply this logic to Alexis? After all don't many claim a player like Alexis Ozil's ideal forward to assist? Yet the stats show Alexis was more wasteful in front of goal than Giroud last season.