By Amir Mir
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given striker Olivier Giroud a month off after the completion of Euro 2016 in France, according to a report.
Squawka are reporting that the France forward will only return to north London a week before their opening day fixture against Liverpool.
The 29-year-old last played on 10 July when his home country were beaten in the final of Euro 2016, it is said he will return to Arsenal training on 7 August, with his side’s opening day fixture against Liverpool set to kick off at home on 14 August.
Giroud scored 16 goals in the Premier League last season, but that tally included a 15-game goal drought which saw him being heavily criticised by Arsenal supporters.
The target man will most likely not be match fit for the start of the Premier League season, while long-term absentee Danny Welbeck will miss most of the campaign.
The Gunners have so far failed to add a striker to their squad this summer, with Leicester sensation Jamie Vardy rejecting an offer to join the London club.
It means Wenger may rely upon Theo Walcott to lead the line, even though he is not seen as an out-and-out striker by the manager.
The pacy forward was left out of Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the recently concluded European Championships. Walcott scored five league goals last season, but started just 15 games.
As reported by Football Insider, Wenger could be without five senior players come the opening day with Aaron Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny, Alexis Sanchez, Mezut Ozil and Olivier Giroud all missing through injury or rest.
In the latest Arsenal team news, Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas believes Wenger should make this tactical change in order to boost one player’s performance.