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Laurent Koscienly believes Alexis Sanchez is keeping Olivier Giroud out of the team

Laurent Koscielny has described Alexis Sanchez as “walking on water” as he continues to keep Olivier Giroud out of the starting line-up.

The Chilean striker has shown signs of returning to his very best this season, with four goals in his last five appearances for the Gunners proving that Sanchez is taking the opportunity to play through the middle with both hands.

His superb form has seen Coral lower their football betting odds on Sanchez finishing the season as the Premier League’s top scorer, with the 27-year-old making amends for a disappointing 2015/2016 campaign in which he was unable to discover his best form.

Sanchez’s speed, quick-thinking and clinical finishing has certainly come to the fore in recent weeks, as his performances may lead Arsene Wenger to believe he is more suited to playing as a central striker within the team’s style of play.

Olivier Giroud certainly won’t step away from the challenge of competing for a starting role, but with Coral reporting that Celtic striker Moussa Dembele is a potential target for the club in January, it remains to be seen whether he can force his way back into becoming Arsenal’s first-choice striker.

Koscielny has certainly been impressed with Sanchez’s start to the season, but the centre-back also provided some encouragement for international team-mate Giroud.

Koscielny is quoted as saying by The Mirror: “There is a lot of attacking competition at Arsenal. Alexis Sanchez is playing exceptionally well so it’s complicated to replace him in the starting eleven.”

When talking about Giroud’s situation at Arsenal, he said: “It’s a delicate situation for him (Olivier Giroud). We came back late following the Euros. We joined the squad at another time. It took us more time to get fit. Olivier needs a little more time than others.”

Koscielny also added: “I know Olivier and he’s experienced much worse. We know his mental strength. One season is very long so he’ll have his chance during the following weeks. He’ll then have to answer the call.”

Both Koscielny and Sanchez will hope to feature when Arsenal return to Premier League action following the international break with a game at the Emirates Stadium against Swansea.

11/10/16

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