Olivier Giroud May Be Suffering Fatigue as Arsenal Reportedly Eye Karim Benzema

Ben Blackmore@@Blackmore_BRFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2013

HANOI, VIETNAM - JULY 17: Oliver Giroud #12 of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his third goal against Vietnam during the international friendly match between Vietnam and Arsenal FC at My Dinh National Stadium on July 17, 2013 in Hanoi, Vietnam.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Laurent Koscielny has uttered the words all Arsenal fans dreaded, admitting Olivier Giroud may be tiring in his role as lone striker at the club.

Giroud has been without support for nearly the entire season due to Lukas Podolski’s long-term absence, and Koscielny confessed to Andrew Dillon of the Sun (subscription required), via Sky Sports, there are signs the forward needs a break:

It's true that he's not scoring but he is setting them up, like he did against Dortmund.

But he's also playing game after game and hasn't had a rest, so maybe he's feeling a bit of fatigue.

He's very important for us - strong and always answers the call on the pitch.

Giroud struggled in Arsenal’s recent match against Manchester United, failing to win his war with the home defence as the Gunners were beaten 1-0.

The Frenchman’s ball control was lacking, and he also made a string of poor decisions when refusing to pull the trigger in and around the United penalty area.

Arsene Wenger’s only alternative right now is Nicklas Bendtner, a player who has made little impact this term and recently confessed to Berlingske that he expected to leave Arsenal during the summer, per ESPN FC.

Giroud cannot even rest during the international period, which sees France play Ukraine in a playoff for a spot at the 2014 World Cup.

Wenger will soon have Podolski back after he recently returned to training, per David Kent of the Daily Mail Online, but the German does not perform the same role as his colleague.

While possessing an awesome strike from distance and a clinical finishing streak, Podolski does not boast Giroud’s link-up abilities or aerial prowess, meaning Arsenal would have to function differently.

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 09: Karim Benzema of Real Madrid CF competes for the ball with Inigo Martinez of Real Sociedad during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Sociedad de Futbol  at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 9, 2013 in Madrid

The solution could be Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, who is open to a switch to the Emirates, according to John Cross of Mirror Football:

Arsene Wenger is making fresh moves for Real Madrid star Karim Benzema.

Gunners boss Wenger is desperate to sign another striker in January and has asked to be kept informed on any developments on Benzema.

And significantly, Benzema is believed to be more open to a move after snubbing Arsenal's advances in the summer when they were keen to bring him in.

Benzema can operate with his back to goal and boasts plenty of physical strength. However, whether he would leave Madrid midseason—turning his back on the Champions League this term—is highly questionable.

Arsenal will need reinforcements of some kind, though, signalled by the fact Giroud has not scored in his last four outings. The January transfer window should be another busy time for Wenger.