Olivier Giroud contract: Arsenal striker 'important player here', says Arsene Wenger

The Frenchman has agreed a new deal with the Gunners

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hopes a new contract for France striker Olivier Giroud will help continue to develop the club's core of talent, but must do without key midfielder Aaron Ramsey for at least a month because of injury.

Giroud, currently recovering from a fractured fibia, has agreed an extension with Arsenal, the formalities of which are set to be completed ahead of an official announcement.

Wenger confirmed Giroud, who turned 28 on Tuesday, was very much an integral part of the squad, which now includes England forward Danny Welbeck, signed in a £16million deadline day move from Manchester United.

However, that positive news was tempered somewhat by the prognosis on Ramsey, who pulled up during Saturday's north London derby against Tottenham and, along with injured captain Mikel Arteta, will miss Wednesday night's important Champions League Group D tie at home to Galatasaray.

England midfielder Jack Wilshere, though, could feature despite turning his ankle in the first half against Spurs.

"It (Giroud's contract) is done. It will be done. We will announce it when it is completely finished," said Wenger.

"We want stability and we want to keep the core of our team together because I am a great believer in that.

"We have a young bunch of players now and the core of our team is now basically young English talents, and I believe as well that Giroud is an important player here."

 

Wenger confirmed Ramsey will be out for at least a month, meaning he will not be available for Wales' upcoming European Championship qualifiers.

"To be generous with time, let's say four weeks. If all goes well, three. After the international break, hopefully it will not be far. Sometimes the international break is welcome," said Wenger.

"It is the same with Arteta, even a bit quicker maybe."

The injuries, however, could in turn allow both big-money signings Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to be deployed alongside each other.

"Maybe now we will do it, we will see. We have plenty of options," said Wenger.

"I believe we have a strong squad. We of course want to use that during the season.

"We have more options offensively, but that has to be translated on board and we have to score the goals we could score looking at the possession we have had so far."

After losing 2-0 away to Borussia Dortmund on matchday one, Arsenal are bottom of Group D.

However, Wenger remains confident his side can now turn things around in Europe following a run of fixtures which include a double-header against Anderlecht.

"We had a disappointing result in Dortmund and at the moment I feel that the potential is there for us," he said.

"The group stage is a minimum of 10 points so the home games are vital.

"It is early, but we are maybe more under pressure to win the game than if we had won the first, but it is (always) the same in the Champions League - you want to win your home games.

"You need one good result away from home and then win all your home games."

Defender Kieran Gibbs insists the players are in the right frame of mind following a somewhat frustrating performance in the 1-1 draw against Tottenham, which maintained Arsenal's unbeaten Premier League start.

"It is important to remember how hard we have worked to get to this level at this stage," he said.

"We are in this competition not just to take part, but the squad believes we can do something special and we need to get back on track tomorrow."

Wenger, meanwhile, will on Wednesday have been at Arsenal 18 years.

The French coach, who turns 65 in October and last season marked 1,000 matches in charge, said: "I have no time to look back right now, but it is a great privilege to be in charge of such a big club for such a long time.

"I just want to be at the expectation level of this club and win tomorrow's game. Our job is to win the next game."

PA

Comments