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OLIVIER GIROUD says he may need to leave Arsenal on loan in January to ensure his place in France’s World Cup squad.

Giroud has not started a Premier League game this season as he’s been forced to play second fiddle to summer signing Alexandre Lacazette.

But Arsenal were indebted to Giroud on Sunday as he came off the bench to score a late equaliser against Southampton.

It was the Frenchman’s 17th league goal as a sub but without more starts, his place in Didier Deschamps’s France squad is at risk.

Giroud and Lacazette are competing with each other for a place in the starting XI alongside Antoine Griezmann.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wants to keep Giroud at the Emirates but the striker admits he’d like a loan move.

“I have the World Cup at the back of my mind weekly, almost daily,” Giroud told L’Equipe.

“Each time I go onto the pitch, it’s to be more clinical and keep on track for the World Cup

He added: “If I wasn’t able to leave this summer, it was because of the opportunities I had.

“It wouldn’t have been good to leave for leaving’s sake, but it’s certain that eventually, even in January, I’ll ask myself the question again. That’s for sure. Loan could be best solution. But I don’t know if Arsenal would want that.

“It won’t be easy to find the right solution and take the right decision, but we’ll look at the opportunities.

“At the moment I’m managing to play regularly. I think I’ve even had more playing time than Alex Lacazette, despite fact I’m not starting in the league.”

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