Arsenal are waiting to discover the severity of Olivier Giroud’s foot injury but are already resigned to being without him for their Champions League qualifier against Besiktas tonight.
Giroud may be facing an extended spell on the sidelines after sustaining the damage in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Everton, just seconds after heading the equaliser.
The 27-year-old has undergone two scans and is due to see a specialist today who will provide a time frame for his rehabilitation.
Manager Arsene Wenger refused to speculate on the extent of the damage amid reports that Giroud has broken a bone and could be out for two to three months.
“Olivier will not play against Besiktas. He will see a specialist and afterwards we will make an announcement as to how long he’ll be out,” Wenger said.
“It can be (long term), we’ll see. I don’t know (if it’s broken). It’s sad for us, but for the moment we are focused on the game.”
The loss of Giroud has robbed Arsenal of their first-choice striker as they seek to secure a 17th successive season in the group stage of the Champions League.
Wenger may now be forced into the transfer market in search of a replacement if the Gunners’ worst fears are realised and Giroud faces an extended spell on the sidelines.
When asked if his absence would impact on transfers, Wenger replied: “I don’t know. We are 24 hours from a big game and our focus is more on that than the transfer window.
“I’ve learnt one thing in our job – you say nothing categorically.”
Summer signing Alexis Sanchez could operate as the lone striker against Besiktas, although doubts have been raised over his ability to perform the role.
Yaya Sanogo, Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell are also options, although it is Sanogo, who missed out against Everton because of a hamstring injury, who is most likely to start.
Four transfer options for Arsene
The England international has fallen down the pecking order at Manchester United and fits the young, technically gifted and English mould that Wenger seems to be looking for. Not a prolific goalscorer, but his pace and power would undoubtedly compliment Arsenal’s creative midfield.
The French striker has been heavily linked with a move to the Gunners after his transfer to Liverpool broke down. The QPR striker
was on loan at Newcastle last season and would surely jump at the chance of Champions League football on offer at the Emirates.
Despite moving to PSG last summer, speculation seems to surround Cavani’s future every time the transfer window opens, fuelled by the fact Zlatan Ibrahimovic remains the main man in Paris. A proven goalscorer at the highest level, but it would take a huge bid to tempt PSG to sell.
Atletico Madrid, Internazionale and AC Milan are keen on the 27-year-old, who was in Italy’s World Cup squad in Brazil. Cerci is not an out-and-out striker, deployed mainly as a winger or second striker, but he has a useful record in Serie A, contributing
assists as well as goals.
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