Olivier Giroud could face an extended spell on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury in Arsenal’s draw with Everton on Saturday. There are fears that the France international may have broken an ankle after coming on as a substitute at Goodison Park, potentially ruling him out for three months. What is certain is that he will be unavailable for the crucial second leg of Arsenal’s Champions League playoff with Beşiktaş on Wednesday, with the club now nervously awaiting the results of a scan.
“He will not play tomorrow and he will see a specialist tomorrow,” manager Arsene Wenger said on Tuesday, according to Arsenal’s official website. “After that we will make an announcement of how long he will be out for. It can be [a long-term injury]. We will see tomorrow. I don't know [if it’s broken], it's sad for us but at the moment we are focused on tomorrow's game.”
If it turns out to be as serious as feared, Giroud’s injury could force Wenger to reenter the transfer market to sign a striker before the close of the summer window next Monday. In the short term it is likely to mean the fit again Yaya Sanogo starting up front at the Emirates Stadium against Beşiktaş as Arsenal try to progress to the Champions League group phase.
But Wenger also has other concerns over his team selection. A goalless draw in the first leg came at the cost of Aaron Ramsey, who received two yellow cards to rule him out of the return, as well as Mikel Arteta, who picked up an ankle injury that continues to sideline the Spanish midfielder.
“Mikel Arteta is still out from his ankle injury,” Wenger said. “He is quite a short term injury, he could be back quite quickly.”
Kieran Gibbs also remains unavailable with a hamstring injury that Wenger believes will keep him out until after the international break at the start of September. And that is also the time when Theo Walcott should be back in full training. The forward has been absent since rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in an FA Cup tie with Tottenham in January. Despite being on the comeback trail, Wenger is in no mind to take any risks with his comeback.
“Theo is doing well but we will respect the timing [of his return],” Wenger explained. “The timing is end of the month to join in again, after the break I think he will be in full training.”