Olivier Giroud's lack of regular football with Arsenal has cost the striker a place in the France squad for their upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and the Netherlands. The striker has played just 51 minutes of Premier League football this season with Arsene Wenger preferring Alexis Sanchez in the number nine role.
The Frenchman was likely to miss the upcoming internationals even if he was named in the squad after the Gunners' boss confirmed that he would be unavailable for their upcoming clash against Burnley on Sunday (2 October) due to injury. Giroud suffered a toe injury during Arsenal's 1-1 draw against PSG, where he was also sent off in the final minutes, in the Champions League and missed the game against Hull City. Despite returning for the north London club's win over Chelsea, he was ruled out for the visit of Basel on Wednesday (26 September), with an injury while he was also facing a one-game ban.
The 30-year-old returned late for pre-season owing to his commitments with the national team at this summer's European Championships, and after missing the opening game of the season due to lack of match fitness, he made a substitute appearance against Leicester City. However, he has failed to break into the starting XI with Wenger preferring Alexis in the Premier League, while summer signing Lucas Perez was the manager's option in the EFL Cup.
Didier Deschamps has backed Giroud to recapture his form and break back into the squad for both club and country, but admitted that he will not select a player who is not fully fit and does not play on a regular basis for his club side.
"The important thing is to have players at 100%. I wish that he, like all the players, had as much playing time as possible because like every player he needs to be in the rhythm, repeat effort match after match over 90 minutes," Deschamps said, as quoted on ESPN FC.
"I'm not going to worry now. Of course he too wants more playing time. There have been times in recent years when he has played less and he has always managed to turn things round. I don't call into question what I think of him, what he has done, and what he can do with us," the France manager added.