France assistant coach Guy Stephane has warned Olivier Giroud that, if he does not play more regularly for Arsenal, he faces the possibility of missing out on a trip to the World Cup next summer.
The 31-year-old striker has been an important figure in Didier Deschamps’ plans for three years now and has been one of his country’s most reliable performers, yet he finds Alexandre Lacazette ahead of him in the pecking order at club level.
He has played only 234 minutes of Premier League football so far this season – fewer than three complete matches – and remains affixed to the bench despite finding the net three times.
Now Deschamps has warned Giroud, the man whose goal secured France’s place in Russia, that he may not make the trip if he does not play more.
“It’s clear that he’s not playing enough and Didier has already had the chance to talk about it,” Deschamps's assistant Stephane told TF1. “He has to find a solution in the coming weeks.
“It’s up to him to see. He’s been very good in the last couple of months, he's featured a lot and scored important goals, so now he has to play a lot.”
Giroud faces stiff competition for a place in the panel, with the likes of Lacazette, Antoine Griezmann, Anthony Martial, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Kingsley Coman among others all seeking to feature in the 23-man squad for Russia.