Olivier Giroud was an unused substitute against Burnley, and when the Gunners needed a goal, Danny Welbeck was introduced. Is the Frenchman now third choice?
Giroud made the decision to commit to Arsenal over the summer, despite interest from Everton, saying: “I had the opportunity to leave [Arsenal]. I was very close to another English club, Everton. But I think I made the best choice,” reports Sky Sports.
Since then, the 31-year-old hasn’t made a single start in the Premier League, whilst Danny Welbeck has made six. Giroud still has more minutes overall, and for a while it seemed like he was the second-choice striker for the Gunners.
After all, Welbeck tended to start as a wide-forward, so until this weekend there didn’t appear to be competition for places between the pair. However, when Arsenal struggled to get a goal against Burnley, the English international was the one introduced as a centre-forward.
So has Welbeck moved up the rankings in Arsène Wenger’s mind, and will Giroud be regretting his decision to stay? The first thing to point out is that Giroud really hasn’t been in good form.
His last goal for Arsenal came in mid-October, and none of his substitute appearances have led to goals since the first day of the season.
Welbeck is a bit harder to evaluate, since he’s been out with injury. He’s contributed to more goals in fewer minutes so far this season. So Wenger could just be giving the 31-year-old a break.
Also, I think it’s a bit soon to be drawing conclusions based on one game. Giroud played 90 minutes on Thursday, after all, whilst Welbeck was subbed off at half-time.
Overall, the French international still ended the week with more time on the pitch. But if Giroud continues to be overlooked as the default substitute for Alexandre Lacazette, perhaps the questions around his decision to stay become more pertinent.