Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud had sustained a knock against Aston VillaGetty

Wenger revealed that Olivier Giroud had received a knock in the game against Aston Villa for which the manager substituted him for Chuba Akpom, 20 minutes before the final whistle.

Akpom came on and earned his side a penalty, which was successfully dispatched by Santi Cazorla, with the Gunners already three goals ahead.

The striker has only six months left on his current contract, and Wenger is hoping that giving him opportunities in the first team will help make up his mind as he cannot let such a precocious talent leave the Emirates on a free.

"He got a kick during the game and I was a bit cautious with him. We could give another opportunity to Chuba Akpom and he has shown that he has quality when he comes on as well. [Chuba] looks dangerous and you can see that he will score goals," Wenger told www.arsenal.com.

Meanwhile, Giroud has been in brilliant form since coming back from injury, scoring in his last two games against Manchester City and Aston Villa. The Frenchman was previously castigated for his inability to affect big games but the player has since scored against Manchester United, Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City.

The striker scored the opener against Villa, running on the end of a delectable flick from Mesut Ozil and relieving the pressure on the Gunners, who went on to score five, their biggest win in the league since 2012.

Wenger will be hoping that the knock will not keep him out of the north London derby scheduled for the weekend. A win at White Hart Lane, will keep the pressure on Manchester United and also open up a five point gap with Tottenham, who are in the race for a top four spot.

"He's much more focused, technically he has improved, his feet have improved, his movement has improved and he has a big presence in the game," the manager added.

"It's no coincidence that when he comes back, you feel strong," he concluded.