Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger is confident about his chances of retaining Olivier Giroud and not let him depart the club in January. Some sources have recently claimed that the French manager remains positive about keeping both Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott when the transfer window opens next month.
Wenger wants to keep them in North London despite the duo struggling to find playing time, as they are needed with Arsenal trying to compete in four different competitions. The French centre-forward is expected to start for the Gunners in their last Europa League group stage game against BATE Borisov on Thursday night despite speculation linking him with a move away in January. Giroud has struggled to find enough game-time in the Premier League and is yet to start a league game for Arsenal.
The 31-year-old has mainly appeared from the bench and has also notched up some game-time as a starter during the midweek cup games. With a place in France’s 2018 FIFA World Cup up for grabs, he would be desperate to experience some first-team football and put a run of games under his belt as he tries to impress France’s manager, Didier Deschamps. However, the Arsenal boss has been determined to keep hold of his services and won’t put him up for sale in January.
In a recent news conference, Wenger was quoted to have said,
“I want to keep the squad. We qualify now for the Europa League [knockout rounds], that means we do not want to reduce the squad. We have the League Cup, we are still in it, we have the FA Cup to come, we have the Europa League to come, we have the Premier League where we have a big fight to be in the top four. We do not want to become weaker. Look, I have to consider the interests of the player. But dominant of that will be the interests of the club. If you can combine the two, that’s even better. But first is what is important for the club.”
The Arsenal manager has also rejected claims made by France’s assistant coach, Guy Stephan about Giroud’s lack of game-time this season and how the striker had to leave the Gunners in search of more first-team opportunities ahead of next year’s World Cup.
In response, the Gunners boss has pointed out that his French striker has got more minutes under his belt that first-choice forward, Alexandre Lacazette due to Giroud being involved in all four competitions. Wenger said, “I can give you the example that Giroud has played more minutes than Lacazette. So, his statement was not absolutely right. Why did he say that? At least it is not backed by the numbers. He wants to say maybe that he should play more in the Premier League. There he has a case, but competition is competition.”
Olivier Giroud would be hoping that he can get more opportunities in the Premier League going into the busy Christmas schedule. It remains to be seen whether Arsene Wenger can successfully convince his centre-forward to stay at the club beyond January.
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