Giroud could be back early, says Arsenal boss Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed Olivier Giroud is making quicker-than-expected progress as he recovers from a fractured tibia, ESPN has reported.

Giroud has been out since late August after suffering the injury in the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park with Everton. It was initially predicted he would be missing until the New Year but Wenger has hinted Giroud was nearing a return well before 2015.

“Giroud is recovering very well. I believe he is ahead of schedule in terms of rehabilitation. The operation went perfectly,” Wenger said.

Wenger dipped into the transfer market in the aftermath of Giroud’s injury, signing England striker Danny Welbeck from Manchester United to plug the gap left by the ex-Montpellier man. And rather than drop Welbeck when Giroud returns, Wenger confirmed he is looking at ways to play the pair together.

“Welbeck and [Giroud] can play together in the centre or separately,” he added. “Welbeck also played on one side to Manchester United. Welbeck played in the same team with [Wayne] Rooney and [Robin] van Persie. He can play down the sides.”

Giroud has scored 41 goals in 102 games for the London club, including two in four games prior to his injury. Welbeck meanwhile has four goals in six Arsenal appearances, including a hat-trick against Aston Villa.

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