The Gunners boss has insisted the France international is not just a ‘plan B’ despite not starting a Premier League match this season
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger expressed his support for Olivier Giroud and emphasised the striker is not considered a back-up option at Emirates Stadium.
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The France international made 26 Premier League starts in 2015-16, but has yet to feature from the off in the league this campaign, which has been hindered by a toe injury.
In his absence, Alexis Sanchez has been moved into the central striking role and has flourished, netting eight goals in 14 matches across all competitions.
Giroud came off the bench to strike twice in a 4-1 rout of Sunderland on Saturday, before starting and scoring against Ludogorets in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Despite his reduced role this season, Giroud is not thought of as second choice by Wenger.
“There is no plan B in any squad, I never thought about my players like that,” Wenger said in his media conference ahead of Sunday’s north London derby at home to Tottenham.
“The team who is the most effective for the next game, that’s what you pick and I consider everyone as a regular player. That is basically what a manager thinks, what is [best] for the next game.
“If he is involved in the next game in your mind, he plays. If not then he doesn’t start. He has shown he is a huge asset for the club and I have always supported him.”
Aaron Ramsey’s return from a hamstring injury has seen the Wales international take up a wide role rather than a central position, but Wenger says that is not set in stone.
“No, again I just consider the next game and try to find the balance with the players to be in a position where they can give their best for the team,” the Frenchman said.
“Aaron Ramsey has come back from 11 weeks injury you know, he has to come back, you do not come back by magic. It takes time but he can bring us his strengths in every single position – wide or central.
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“He prefers to play central, to be central, and I can understand that. But when he plays wide he has enough freedom to be central as well.
“You know of course I speak with all of the players about their performances, about their positions. Most of the time I think you want the players to be happy and to play in their best position.”