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Alexis or Giroud up front - or both?

It is a nice problem for Arsene Wenger to have - does he play Alexis or Olivier Giroud up front? Or maybe both together?

With the France international back to full fitness after a toe injury, the Arsenal manager has an array of options heading into Saturday’s game at Sunderland.

Alexis and Giroud have different styles, but Wenger is convinced that both can benefit the team.

“They are completely different, but they can as well play together,” he said. “[If Giroud starts] I have to move Alexis out as I always have that problem with Ozil being behind the striker, he cannot move much deeper.

06:04

Close Up: Giroud

“As [if you are] much deeper, you need defensively to work. So one [striker] would have to move wide. And if you move one of them wide, it can only be Alexis.

“[Alexis and Giroud] are two top players. It is not a bad option - it is a good option to have. To leave quality players out is tough. But the toughest thing is not to have quality players.”

Alexis has blossomed as a central striker this season, and Wenger says that is where his long-term position could be.

“Yes, I see him there, because he is… provocative. He has a short technique and can always create something,” he said. “He has a good mixture between scoring and giving the final ball.

“In my taste, he still comes too much to the ball, because Alexis likes to have the ball. We have enough playmakers in our team and we would want him a bit more… we do not want to forbid him to come to the ball, but to get in a bit more with off-the-ball runs.

“But that’s why when we have Walcott it balances well, because when he comes, Walcott goes. This is a good mixture, a good working unit.”

 

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