By Tony Hughes

Arsenal have been given a boost with the news that striker Olivier Giroud could be back in the squad to face Reading in the EFL Cup at the Emirates on Tuesday night.

Giroud, 30, has been out with a toe injury since September and has seen his team put in strong attacking performances without him.

Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi have forged a strong three-pronged attack, but it backfired on Saturday when they only managed a 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough.

Talking on the official Arsenal website after the Middlesbrough game, Arsene Wenger admitted, “We didn’t make enough from our set-pieces today and from our crosses.”

“The first thing that comes to mind is a guy with a bit more size in the box and more physical presence could have helped, yes.”

Quizzed on Giroud’s return, Wenger said that he could be in the squad to face Reading in the EFL Cup on Tuesday.

“Giroud could be in the squad on Tuesday night. We have a game on Tuesday night here, so maybe he will be available to be in the squad on Tuesday.”

Giroud would add another dimension to an Arsenal team that’s desperate to challenge for the Premier League title this season.

Having him available, even from the bench, would provide a much more direct route to goal – something that would have helped in the game against Middlesbrough.

Giroud has been criticised for his Arsenal performances but his statistics are solid with 82 goals from 191 appearances.

In other Arsenal team news, manager Arsene Wenger gave this excuse for his team’s performance against Middlesbrough on Saturday.