France camp warns Olivier Giroud against dangers of staying at Arsenal
Olivier Giroud's lack of game time at Arsenal is hindering his chances of appearing at next summer’s World Cup, France assistant coach Guy Stephane has warned.
With Alexandre Lacazette ahead of him in the pecking order at Arsenal, Giroud has fallen out of favour under manager Arsene Wenger.
The forward has played just 234 minutes of Premier League football so far this season – fewer than three full matches – with the majority of his appearances coming from off the bench.
Despite securing France’s place in Russia with his winning goal against Belarus in October, Giroud has been warned that he may not be included in Didier Deschamps’ World Cup squad if he does not play more club football.
“It’s clear that he’s not playing enough and Didier has already had the chance to talk about it,” Deschamps's assistant Stephane told TF1. “He has to find a solution in the coming weeks.
“It’s up to him to see. He’s been very good in the last couple of months, he's featured a lot and scored important goals, so now he has to play a lot.”
Giroud faces stiff competition for a place France’s 23-man squad for Russia, with the likes of Lacazette, Antoine Griezmann, Anthony Martial, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Kingsley Coman all pushing for a spot.
Wenger himself admitted earlier this season he faces a regular selection headache in deciding whether Lacazette or Giroud should lead the Arsenal line.
"Giroud, Lacazette -- it's a never-ending debate. I think both of them are very good players," Wenger told SFR Sport.
“For me there's no difference, and each time it's very hard to decide who starts.”