Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny believes Olivier Giroud will have to fight for his place in the starting IX now that Alexis Sanchez has settled into his role as a central striker (via ESPN).
Giroud is yet to start for Arsenal this season and has played just 51 minutes in the Premier League following his late return to the squad and a toe injury which has kept him out of action for a few weeks.
The team seems to be adapting well to Sanchez as a centre forward instead of out wide. Arsenal have won their last five matches and the Chilean international has starred, scoring three and assisting three more in the four matches he has played.
Laurent Koscielny has also been vital in this period, helping the Gunners to three consecutive clean sheets. Now the defender has admitted that it will be difficult for his French teammate Olivier Giroud to get a chance in the team.
“That’s a delicate situation for him”, Koscielny told the French media.
“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 competition up front at Arsenal.
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“Alexis Sanchez is currently playing exceptionally well so it’s complicated to push him out the starting IX.
“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 in the following weeks. He’ll then have to answer the call.”
Arsene Wenger has preferred the Chilean over Giroud as well as new signing Lucas Perez. While the manager might be comfortable with consistently playing Sanchez as a striker, Koscielny is right to say that the season is long. The team is working well right now but that won’t always be the case and Olivier Giroud – as well as Lucas Perez – are going to have to be ready to come in when required.