Football

Giroud won’t leave in January: Wenger

Arsene Wenger insists Olivier Giroud will not leave Arsenal next month despite the France striker's lack of starting opportunities.

Giroud has yet to start an English Premier League game this season, but he showed his value coming off the bench when he headed a late equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday.

It was his fourth league goal in 13 substitute appearances and, while Giroud may be growing frustrated at his lack of starts, Wenger is determined to hold on to the 31-year-old when the transfer window opens.

"Why should we lose an important player?" said the Arsenal manager of a striker who was close to joining Everton at the end of the last transfer window.

"Yes, he will start games. It's always the same, when you have many good players, some of them cannot play.

"Why does a guy who is good not play? Because if you put him on, you have another guy who is good who will not play. It's as simple as that.

"He will start games because we play every three days... We have to be grateful to a player who comes on when he is needed. It is a remarkable achievement."

Giroud's goal on Sunday was his 17th from the bench, ranking him alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Nwankwo Kanu.They are six goals behind Jermain Defoe, who tops this all-time list of super-subs. - AFP

Football