English Premiership

Koscielny: Delicate situation for Giroud

Oliver Giroud (Gallo Images)
Oliver Giroud (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Laurent Koscielny has expressed concern for Olivier Giroud in the wake of the good form shown by Alexis Sanchez for Arsenal this season.

French striker Giroud has yet to start for the Gunners in the new campaign after returning late from Euro 2016, where Les Bleus lost to Portugal in the final.

A toe injury suffered against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last month has further limited the 30-year-old's chances for Arsene Wenger's side.

In his absence, Sanchez has performed admirably up front, scoring five goals and providing four assists in six appearances across all competitions.

France team-mate Koscielny, who himself made a late comeback for the north Londoners but was forced to start due to an injury crisis in defence, admits that Giroud faces a fight to get back into the starting line-up.

"It's a delicate situation for him," the 31-year-old centre-back said. "We came back late following the Euros. We joined the squad at another time. It took us more time to get fit.

"Olivier needed a little more time than others. Then there is a lot of attacking competition at Arsenal. Alexis Sanchez is playing exceptionally well so it's complicated to replace him in the starting XI."

However, Koscielny added: "I know Olivier and he's experienced much worse. We know his mental strength. One season is very long so he'll have his chance during the following weeks. He'll then have to answer the call."

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