Olivier Giroud has insisted he has no problem with Arsene Wenger’s decision to leave him out of the starting line-up for each of Arsenal’s opening three fixtures.
Wenger insisted after Euro 2016 that he would give his quartet of semi-finalists an extended break before returning them to the side, with Giroud and fellow runner-up Laurent Koscielny in line for the lengthiest breaks.
Whilst Koscielny was rushed back in the second game of the season, away to Leicester, to shore up a struggling backline and Ozil started against Watford but Giroud has been limited to 12 minutes off the bench at the King Power.
Giroud was back in action for his national side in a 3-1 win over Italy in Bari on Thursday, scoring France’s second goal in an impressive victory. Speaking after the match he insisted that he had no concerns over his place at Arsenal, who spent £17m on Deportivo striker Lucas Perez earlier this week.
“My club situation? I’m not worried, I came back very late from the Euros,” he said.
“It was normal to throw me in gradually. There is no problem on that side.”
Wenger will hope his gamble with Giroud’s fitness in the early weeks of the season pays off and allows a striker to maintain consistency over an extended run in starting lineup, something the Frenchman has often struggled with.
Aaron Ramsey was rushed back for the season opener and limped out of the 4-3 loss to Liverpool; he is targeting a return from a hamstring injury against Southampton on September 10 in a match that Giroud will likely need to play a significant part in if he is to have any hope of figuring against Paris St Germain in the Champions League three days later.
New signings Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez could both make their Arsenal debuts in the clash, with the latter having spent the international break training with his new team-mates.