Why Arsenal must start this fringe star against Bournemouth
COMMENT By Will Butcher
Arsene Wenger should give Olivier Giroud his first Premier League start of the season as Arsenal face Bournemouth on Sunday.
The 30-year-old was in excellent form for the Gunners on Wednesday night, as he scored from the penalty spot in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw against French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
Now in his fifth season in North London, Giroud has been repeatedly used as a substitute this season despite scoring three goals from the bench.
Arsenal’s number 12 has started just once in his 10 appearances this campaign, as Alexis Sanchez continues to be preferred in the spearhead role by Wenger.
Giroud proved against Manchester United that he can offer a different dimension up front after Sanchez failed to break down Jose Mourinho’s defence.
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The France international was brought on by Wenger, and he rose highest to power home a header from close range to secure a late 1-1 draw against their bitter rivals.
That aerial prowess, as well as his ability to bring other strikers into play by holding the ball up, should provide the Gunners with three points against Eddie Howe’s Cherries.
Signed from Montpellier in 2012, Giroud has scored an impressive 87 goals in just 197 games and will look to continue that impressive goalscoring ratio as he edges towards a century of goals for the North London giants.
A win for Arsenal will see them close the gap on third placed Manchester City to just two points, as well as strengthening their position in the top four following Spurs’ loss to Chelsea on Saturday.
In other Arsenal news, Wenger has had this to say over the future of Jack Wilshere.