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Giroud warns Arsenal over playing time

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France’s forward Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring a goal during the friendly football match France vs Paraguay on June 2, 2017 at the Roazhon Park stadium in Rennes.<br />FRANCK FIFE / AFP

France forward Olivier Giroud said on Tuesday he will not accept a bit-part role with Arsenal next season.

The 30-year-old was often a substitute over the last campaign as Gunners manager Arsene Wenger preferred to line up Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott in attack.

Giroud, who also had an injury-disrupted campaign, made only 11 league starts and, with 18 appearances from the bench, was the Arsenal player most used as a substitute last season.

But while he said he’s happy at Arsenal, the former Montpellier striker says he wants to play more.

“I still have two or even three years left on my Arsenal contract, for the moment my future is at Arsenal,” he said.

“I feel good here, I want to win the Premier League with Arsenal.

“But I don’t know what the future holds.”

On Sunday, Giroud had told French television station TF1 that he would be interested in a move back to France, in particular Marseille, although he said he still wanted to win things in England.

“Obviously, I’m not going to be happy with another year of playing so little,” he added.

“I’m going to have to think about it with those close to me and my advisors.”

While he was often on the bench at Arsenal, Giroud has been first choice for France since Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema was omitted due to his implication in the Mathieu Valbuena sex-tape scandal.

Giroud hit a hat-trick in Friday’s 5-0 win over Paraguay in Rennes, taking his tally to 26 goals in 62 France appearances.

He is set to feature for France in their crunch World Cup qualifier in Sweden on Friday.



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