Arsenal legend Robert Pires has urged his compatriot Olivier Giroud to hold talks with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger before making a decision on his future in January, revealing that the France striker isn’t comfortable with his current situation at the club.
Giroud, 31, has not started a Premier League game this season and came close to joining Everton in the summer having found himself second choice behind club record acquistion Alexandre Lacazette.
The former Montpellier striker salvaged a point for Arsenal in their 1-1 draw against Southampton on Sunday which saw him equal Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's record for most substitute goals scored for one Premier League club (17).
With the 2018 World Cup coming up in Russia, Giroud admitted that he could be forced to push through a loan move next month but Pires believes the Frenchman should discuss his future with the Arsenal hierarchy before making any decision.
“I saw a good reaction [from Arsenal] when Southampton scored and a good professional like Olivier Giroud making an impact,” Pires told Goal.
“The situation is not easy for him [Giroud] because he wants to play and go to the World Cup with France. As a player he’s not comfortable but this is football and Arsene Wenger has a selection dilemma on who to pick over Giroud and Lacazette right now.
“The first thing I’d do [if I was Giroud] is to talk with Arsene Wenger because he’s the manager. Giroud is a great player and very important but before making a decision he needs to meet with Arsene and the chief executive Mr Gazidis.
“After the meeting he can take a decision but as I understand the situation for Olivier he’s not comfortable actually.”
January marks an important month for Arsenal’s two best players as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will both be able to sign pre-contract agreements with foreign teams.
The talismanic duo have yet to commit to signing contract extensions and see their deals expire next summer. Pires, who still trains regularly at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground alongside the star men, insists that it is vital that the club do everything they can to keep the fans’ favourites.
“These are my friends. I love Alexis and Mesut. This is a similar situation to Olivier [Giroud]. It’s very difficult to answer [whether they will stay or not] because I’m not Mesut or Alexis Sanchez and I don’t know what they want at the end of the season.
“If I’m the owner of Arsenal then of course I want to extend both of their contracts because they’re important on and off the pitch. The situation is not easy for Arsenal.”
Wenger's side face a packed Christmas fixture list which include game against Newcastle, Liverpool, Crystal Palace and West Brom, with former Gunner Pires insisting that finishing in the top four should be the club's main priority this season, but he doesn't agree with the naysayers who claim the Europa League's prestige isn't on the same level as the Champions League.
"Arsenal need two objectives," said Pires.
"The first is to finish in the top four and the second is to win a trophy like Manchester United did last season. They are a good example [of qualifying for the Champions League by winning the Europa League] and while some people say it’s not as glamorous as the Champions League this is a real opportunity to win a trophy for the club, players and the manager. The aim is to always win something. It’s very important to win the [Europa League] for Arsenal."
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