Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has conceded that he fears compatriot Olivier Giroud could struggle to get back into the Gunners line-up.
The French international returned late at the start of the season due to his commitments with Les Bleus at Euro 2016, which in turn made it initially difficult for him to get up to speed.
Giroud also picked up a toe injury against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last month, as it continues to be a problematic period for him.
In his absence, Alexis Sanchez has added to his woes from a personal perspective having been deployed through the middle up front, and the Chilean forward has responded by scoring five goals and has provided four assists so far this season.
While that has helped Arsenal to a nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions, it hasn’t helped Giroud’s chances of getting back in the team, and Koscielny is concerned for his fellow Frenchman.
“It’s a delicate situation for him,” Koscielny said in a press-conference on Wednesday, as reported by ESPN FC. “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 eleven.”
Koscielny went on to add that he doesn’t doubt Giroud’s ability to “answer the call” when he gets his opportunity, but it remains to be seen if he’ll be kept waiting for much longer.
Arsenal sit in third place in the Premier League table after seven games, just two points adrift of leaders Manchester City, as we now wait for the international break to conclude.
In turn, it’s another ‘distraction’ in terms of Giroud’s bid to get back into the Arsenal line-up, but he should still feel confident about featuring in the coming weeks as Arsene Wenger will need different options depending on the opposition and will have to rotate to keep his players fresh for the long season ahead.