Olivier Giroud won’t have been expecting his season to start the way it has done at Arsenal.
Despite the signing of Lucas Perez late on in the summer, it was still thought that the Gunners would be relying heavily on their more established forward in Giroud.
The Frenchman was initially being rested at the start of the campaign, having helped his country all the way to the final of Euro 2016, where they of course lost out to Portugal in a 1-0 defeat.
Since then, more disappointment has followed for the striker. Even though he is one of the few out-and-out strikers at the club, he has largely been confined to a role on the bench.
Laurent Koscielny – his team-mate with both Arsenal and France – has now attempted to shed some light on the situation, revealing that Alexis Sanchez has in fact played a big part in Giroud not playing.
“We came back late following the Euros,” he explained, via the Sun.
“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 eleven.”
Nonetheless, Koscielny was quick to back Giroud, though it’s going to be even tougher for him to get games when Danny Welbeck returns in the New Year.
“I know Olivier and he’s experienced much worse. We know his mental strength,” Koscielny added.