All summer long we were told that Arsenal were desperate to bring in a world class striker to strengthen the first team options at the Emirates.
Jamie Vardy was only the first of a string of attacking players linked with a move to the Gunners and only a late, late deal for Lucas Pérez saw Arsène Wenger do any business in the most relevant part of the pitch at all. All of which must have played havoc with the confidence and pre-season preparations of Olivier Giroud, who led the line for most of last term.
Now, speaking to French media as the latest international window gets underway, Laurent Koscielny has commented on his compatriot’s club situation and admitted there is no happy end in sight for Giroud, at least in the immediate term.
“We returned late after Euro 2016, so we had to do more [in training] to be ready physically,” the centre half explained.
“There is competition up front at Arsenal and Alexis Sanchez is walking on water right now, so it’s difficult to remove him from the starting XI.”
There are few Arsenal supporters that would disagree with Koscielny’s assessment of Sanchez’s form, particularly in recent games as the club’s form stepped up several gears. Fans will still want Wenger to try and recruit a striker in the January transfer window if possible though, even given their manager’s fondness for securing a bargain.
Media reports have claimed that Arsenal are tracking both Moussa Dembele at Celtic and Alvaro Morata at Real Madrid among others at present. Koscielny, meanwhile, believes his team-mate very much still has a future in red and white.
He added: “I know Olivier and he has seen more difficult things during his career. We know his mental strength and the season is very long. He will have the opportunity to be back and give his answer on the pitch.”
As long as Giroud finds the net, he will be a popular character at the Emirates. However, for now at least, it’s hard to look past the miracle worker that is Sanchez, playing in a more unusual and direct role up front.