Former Arsenal player and club legend Robert Pires hopes that French striker Olivier Giroud will continue at the north London club and challenge Alexandre Lacazette for the starting spot.
Giroud’s future has come under intense speculation after Arsenal signed his fellow compatriot Lacazette for a club record fee of £52 million from Lyon.
Last season, Arsene Wenger used Alexis Sanchez as a lone forward, a move that saw Giroud dropping behind him in the pecking order. Lacazette’s arrival means that he will struggle for regular game time.
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates after the match
Giroud has been heavily linked with a move to Premier League clubs - Everton and West Ham – this summer. However, Pires says that Giroud should consider continuing his career at the Emirates.
He says that Giroud is “really important” for the team as he scores a lot of goal, but at the same time, Pires understands that with World Cup only a year away, Giroud will be looking for regular game time to improve his chances for selection in the national team.
“It will be very difficult for Olivier Giroud but I think he’s a big professional,” Pires told talkSPORT.
“Competition is very important for strikers so I hope Giroud will stay at Arsenal because he’s really important and he scores a lot of goals during the season, but I don’t know what will happen at the end of the market.
“It’s not easy for Olivier because in one year he will want to play in the World Cup with France, but he is a big professional for Arsenal and it’s better if he stays.”
According to reports from The Mirror, any potential suitor would have to pay at least £30 million to prise him away from the Emirates.
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud