December 5, 2017 / 10:25 AM / a year ago

Lack of playing time could cost Giroud France World Cup spot

Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal vs Huddersfield Town - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - November 29, 2017 Arsenal's Olivier Giroud applauds fans REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

(Reuters) - Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud could lose his place in France’s squad for next year’s World Cup if he does not get more playing time at the Premier League club, according to the national team’s assistant manager Guy Stephan.

Giroud is yet to begin a league game for Arsenal this campaign, notching all three of his domestic goals as a substitute, but has started all the north London club’s Europa League and League Cup matches.

The 31-year-old and fellow forward Alexis Sanchez have consistently been Arsenal’s top goalscorers in recent seasons but the Frenchman has been relegated to the bench in favour of compatriot Alexandre Lacazette during this campaign.

“It’s clear that he is not getting enough playing time and Didier (France manager Didier Deschamps) has already spoken to him about it,” Stephan told French TV network TF1. “He has to find a solution in the coming weeks.

“He has a very good goals-to-games ratio, but he now has to play.”

Giroud, who has scored 29 goals in 69 games for France, was part of the squad that progressed to the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals and the 2016 European Championship final.

Arsenal are fifth in the league and travel to 11th-placed Southampton on Sunday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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