Olivier Giroud insists he does not have an issue with his failure to start a match for Arsenal this season, saying he understands Arsene Wenger’s reasons.
France striker Giroud has been limited to just 12 minutes of first-team football this season with Wenger giving his quartet of Euro 2016 semi-finalists an extended break.
However, with Laurent Koscielny rushed back into the side at Leicester to shore up a struggling backline, Mesut Ozil also found himself recalled to the starting line-up for the win at Watford last weekend.
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 Saint-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.