Giroud not for sale in January, insists Arsenal boss Wenger

Arsene Wenger insists Olivier Giroud will not be sold in January as he looks to give the striker more Premier League minutes after his late leveller at Southampton.

The France international is yet to start a league game for the Gunners this season but scored an 88th-minute equaliser off the bench as Arsenal salvaged a point in a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s on Sunday.

Giroud, 31, was close to moving to Everton in the summer but remained at the Emirates Stadium, where he has largely featured in the Europa League as club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette keeps him out of the Premier League side.

His header at Southampton saw him draw level with former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the highest-scoring substitute for a single side in Premier League history with 17 from the bench.

Giroud admitted recently he is frustrated not to feature more in the Premier League but Wenger has said he will do so over the festive period.

“He will start more games,” Wenger said after the draw.

“I believe as well it’s always the same when you have many good players, some of them cannot play. The question you get is always why does the guy who is good not play?

“Because if you take him on you have another guy who is good who will not play, it is as simple as that.”

Pushed on whether an important player like Giroud could be sold in the transfer window, Wenger replied: “In your question is the answer, because you say he is important, why should we lose an important player?”

Asked if it would be up to the club or player as to whether a January move could happen, Wenger clarified: “It is up to us.”

Saints took the lead on three minutes as Charlie Austin continued a fine run of form in front of goal, scoring his fourth in three games.

The hosts would have moved into the top half of the table if they could have held on for the win but, despite being disappointed with the late equaliser, manager Mauricio Pellegrino was happy with the performance.

“It’s part of the game, we know that a team with quality like Arsenal, in one action they can create problems but we played a good game,” he told BT Sport.

“We have to draw our positive conclusion. We created chances and we competed really well and we have to be happy with this.

“We are obviously disappointed because we conceded at the end, we were really close to winning the game, but the most important thing for us is our game.”

Source: PA

Published at Mon, 11 Dec 2017 09:24:03 +0000