Arsene Wenger has said that Olivier Giroud won’t be leaving Arsenal when the transfer window reopens in the New Year. The France international continued his heroics off the substitutes’ bench as he netted an 88th-minute header to earn his side a valuable 1-1 draw at Southampton.
The Gunners were lucky to have just been a goal down for much of the encounter, and they capitalised at the very end with Alexis Sanchez providing the match-defining assist for Giroud, who notched his fourth goal off the bench in the Premier League.
A recent report from The Mirror suggested that Giroud could pursue a loan switch to one of West Ham United or Crystal Palace in the New Year owing to his reduced playing time at the north London club.
However, Wenger has seemingly ruled out the possibility in his post-match interview where he stressed the importance of his compatriot. The Gunners boss went on to suggest that Giroud will start more regularly with the festive schedule coming up.
He told BT Sport: “In your question is the answer, because you say he is important, why should we lose an important player? Is it up to him or up to us? It’s up to us. It’s a remarkable achievement what he has done again today.
“He will start games. I consider Olivier Giroud as a regular player. We have to be grateful that he is part of a great team and one who can come on and make a difference with the right attitude and ability. He is a talent.”
Giroud, who has started all of his games in the Cup competitions, has now equalled Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s (Manchester United) record of 17 goals for a single Premier League club off the bench.