Despite only featuring for 12 minutes so far this campaign, Giroud has assured the fans and the media that he is ready to lead the line for Arsenal this weekend against Southampton. Giroud’s minutes this season came against Leicester City in a 0-0 draw, having taken some time to return to full fitness after an extended break.
Giroud was given an extended holiday after his international side reached the Euro 2016 final this summer and despite fellow compatriot Laurent Koscielny returning to the starting line up that same week, Giroud was deemed as unfit to start the match. Giroud didn’t feature down at Vicarage Road against Watford, but did play for France during the international break and scored in an appearance against Italy.
Giroud now insists that after having plenty of extra time to build on his fitness, he is now ready to start in the Gunners’ next fixture and is hoping to start his campaign bang on form. In a report produced by the Daily Mail, Giroud is quoted as saying: ‘It is down to a lack of training since I got back from holiday. It if had been a priority, the manager would have asked me to come back sooner. That wasn’t the case. Don’t worry, everything is fine. I’m used to people doubting me. Since the start of my career, it has been the same. Maybe I need that so I don’t get too comfortable but between last season and the Euros, I’ve got no reason to doubt myself.’
It seems Giroud is certainly in the right mindset to be ready for this fixture, but with important games against PSG and Chelsea also just around the corner, Wenger may have to juggle his options. Arsenal had been lining up with Alexis Sanchez up front in Giroud’s absence, whilst Danny Welbeck of course remains out injured. Giroud does now have Spanish striker Lucas Perez to compete against and Wenger may choose to go with Perez this weekend, if he still isn’t convinced by the 29 year old Frenchman’s level of fitness.