Walcott to start season as Arsenal striker?

Date published: Saturday 16th July 2016 10:25

Theo Walcott could begin the new Premier League season as Arsenal’s only fit striker as manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Olivier Giroud has been given a month off after his Euro 2016 exploits.

Both Giroud and France teammate Laurent Koscielny will holiday for four weeks before returning to Gunners training just before the start of the new league season on August 13.

Danny Welbeck is a long-term absentee and the Gunners have so far failed to add to their striker ranks; Welbeck, Giroud and Walcott were the only three players to start Premier League games up front for Arsenal last season.

Jamie Vardy publicly rejected Arsenal’s overtures and talk of a move for Alexandre Lacazette seem to have gone quiet.

Arsenal’s only other current option is Alexis Sanchez, but he suffered injury during the Copa America and could struggle to be fit for the season’s opener against Liverpool.

Wenger is resisting the temptation to bring Giroud back sooner than planned.

“You consider the rest time because France had a long, long go and I believe that they need four weeks’ holiday because they need to recover from that,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“It takes you two or three weeks to regenerate… to recover completely, and they need to come back with hunger. That disappointment to lose a final, it takes some time to recover from that.

“I believe the club benefits from experiences at the top level, and the mental experiences as well that they have gone through with such a huge pressure. Of course, in the longer term you benefit from that.”

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