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Giroud to remain out until mid-January

Southampton v Arsenal - Premier League

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Olivier Giroud of Arsenal celebrates scoring his side’s first goal during the Premier League match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary’s Stadium on December 9, 2017 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

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Arsenal will be down a striker for at least another three to four weeks.

Arsene Wenger confirmed that forward Olivier Giroud will miss a total of four to six weeks after suffering a hamstring injury in the second half of Arsenal’s 1-0 Carabao Cup win on December 19 against West Ham United.

“Giroud as I said before is four to six weeks, but he is a quick healer so I am hopeful he will be less...the incident happened on the 10th of December, so the 10th of January or 15th he should hopefully be back,” Wenger said during his press conference on Wednesday ahead of Arsenal’s match against Crystal Palace.

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It’s a blow to Arsenal’s top-four hopes as Giroud had proved this season to be an effective option off the bench, racing against tired defenders to get his forehead on the end of crosses into the box to save a result for his club. Arsenal have seven games between now and January 20, and Wenger will need to make the most of his large squad even with Giroud’s absence.

Giroud has scored seven goals in all competitions this season for the Gunners. Complicating the injury is speculation over whether Giroud will leave the club in January, with his World Cup place for France on the line.