Didier Deschamps Has Told Olivier Giroud He Must Play More to Keep France Place

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2017

Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud applauds supporters on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Huddersfield Town at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 29, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALL / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
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France boss Didier Deschamps has warned Olivier Giroud that he needs to play more regularly if he is to keep his place in France's squad for the 2018 World Cup, according to assistant manager Guy Stephan. 

Stephan told Telefoot (h/t Adam Jones of the Liverpool Echo):

"It's clear that he is not getting enough playing time and Didier has already spoken to him about it. He has to find a solution in the coming weeks.

"A departure? It is up to him. He's been very good in the past, [for France] and he's played a lot of games and scored very important goals, so now he has to play."

Giroud has typically kept Alexandre Lacazette out of the French side, but at Arsenal it has been the other way round this season since the latter arrived from Lyon in the summer.

The former was heavily linked with a move to Everton in the wake of Romelu Lukaku's departure but opted to stay at the Emirates Stadium. According to Jones, the Toffees will be pursuing strikers once again in January.

Bleacher Report's James McNicholas was glad he stayed at Arsenal and praised him when he reached a significant milestone for the club against BATE Borisov in September:

He hasn't started a single Premier League match this season, though, having only been given extended run-outs in the UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup.

The 31-year-old scored twice against Huddersfield Town in Arsenal's 5-0 win in November to take his tally to five goals for the season.

Goal's Chris Wheatley shared the numbers behind his 45-minute cameo, which was the longest appearance he has made in the league this season:

Giroud is undoubtedly a useful option for Arsenal to have. He can give the Gunners another dimension thanks to his height and physicality, and while his goal record may not place him among the top hitmen in world football, it's not to be dismissed either.

He could easily be starting every week elsewhere, though, particularly at a club like Everton who have often lacked a focal point in their attack now Lukaku is gone.

The striker will no doubt be desperate to play in the World Cup, too, which will likely be his last opportunity given his age, and with the attacking talent available to Deschamps he cannot afford to spend the season sat on the bench.

Unless Giroud receives some assurances that his playing time will improve in the second half of the season, it would not be a surprise if he were to consider any offers that come in for him in January.