Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has assured Olivier Giroud that he will have a big role to play next season, even if the Gunners are successful in their pursuit of a top striker this summer.
Such speculation has led some to believe that Giroud’s importance in the side will diminish next season.
However, Wenger is adamant that the France international, who has impressed in pre-season, still remains a key player in his squad.
“The transfer rumours have nothing to do with the quality of Olivier Giroud,” Wenger told the club’s official website. “It’s just number-wise, we are a bit short.
“We score goals. That is the result of our good team play, of our creativity and our pace in the game. We have a lot of pacy players and that creates a lot of danger.”
Wenger went on to give his backing to teenage striker Chuba Akpom following his promising displays during the club’s recent pre-season friendlies.
The 17-year-old’s performances have fuelled hopes that he could be ready for first-team action sooner than first expected.
“It’s difficult to say because you do not want to fix a limit when a player is a striker,” Wenger said. “If he was a centre back, I would say to let him go out on loan and play somewhere.
“When you are a striker, the mistakes you make are not costly for the team, but the talent you have can be very helpful. It looks like he has the physical strength and the technical quality to compete so for him it’s just down to mental belief now and these kind of games will help him.”