Arsenal have been dealt a massive injury blow with Olivier Giroud set to be out until February with a hamstring injury he suffered in their win over West Ham United in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup. The Frenchman limped off in the second half, with Arsene Wenger hinting that the injury was serious after the game.
French publication L'Equipe is of the opinion that the striker will be out for almost two months after tearing his hamstring. The injury also puts a prospective transfer in January in doubt, with the coaching staff of Didier Deschamps' France team urging him to make a move to secure more game time for him to be still in contention for the World Cup in Russia next year.
However, the report states that Giroud will be going to Russia whether he leaves Arsenal or not, being a key squad option for France next summer.
Giroud was substituted with around 15 minutes remaining -on the clock against the Hammers and looked in some discomfort as he trudged gingerly off the pitch. News of Giroud's setback is slightly eased by the timely return to fitness of Danny Welbeck, who scored the only goal against West Ham to secure a date with Chelsea in the latter stages of the tournament.
The 31-year-old had the chance to leave the north London club during the summer transfer window following the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette but chose to remain and fight for his place.
The France international has attracted interest from a number of clubs but Arsene Wenger has repeatedly insisted he does intend to weaken his squad in January. However, Giroud's agent, Michael Manuello, suggested his client might approach the subject with his manager again, provided the right opportunity arrives next month.
"There will be approaches," Manuello told French website footmercato.net, as quoted by ESPN.
"All those clubs looking for a striker are likely to come in for him. We have to be careful, and if there is something clear that presents itself, we'll try to convince Arsene to go back on what he said."
However, with news of the latest setback, it remains to be seen what the future holds for the French striker. The Frenchman has made only one league start for the Gunners this season but has been a regular feature in Cup competitions.