By Will Butcher

Goalkeeper Petr Cech has claimed that Olivier Giroud could be the man to replace injured Lucas Perez against Sunderland.

Summer signing Perez was substituted midway through the second half of the Gunners EFL Cup fourth round triumph on Tuesday night, after the Spaniard picked up an ankle injury.

However, Cech revealed that France international Giroud has returned from his lengthy absence and he could be in line to replace Perez.

“We have a good squad and so far we have been lucky with no big injuries,” Cech told ESPN. “Hopefully Lucas will be fit as soon as possible.

“But we have people who are waiting for their chances to step up. Olivier Giroud is back now so we have the numbers and hopefully we can make sure when he [Perez] comes back we are in a good shape.”

Arsenal’s new number nine was substituted after a vicious tackle from Reading defender Danzell Gravenberch that is expected to keep Perez sidelined for a number of weeks.

The £17million summer signing has scored twice since his move to the Emirates in six league and cup encounters, but will be forced to make way as Giroud profits.

Giroud, 30, who is now in his fifth season in north London, has featured just four times for the Gunners this season and is yet to score.

With an impressive record under Arsene Wenger, fans will be hoping that Giroud can add to his 82 career goals in 142 starts if he starts against David Moyes’ struggling Sunderland.

A win against the Wearside outfit could see the Gunners finish the weekend on top of the Premier League pile, if Liverpool and Manchester City drop points.

In other Arsenal team news, Piers Morgan has posted this comical response to a potential takeover at Arsenal.