Arsene Wenger accepts that Olivier Giroud will become frustrated with his lack of starting action, but assured Saturday’s Old Trafford hero that he remains a key part of the Arsenal squad.
Giroud snatched a 1-1 draw from Manchester United on Saturday, heading home in the 89th minute after Arsenal had turned in an otherwise shabby performance.
The France striker has not started in the Premier League yet this season, having suffered a toe injury after being given an extended break at the start of the campaign.
He has scored three goals in as many appearances from the bench in recent weeks, however, and Wenger says such form could put starting striker Alexis Sanchez under pressure.
Wenger told a news conference: “Olivier Giroud, I consider him as a regular player.
“He was on holiday, after that he came back and got injured and he’s just coming back for a few games.
“It’s true that in the last two games he’s a bit frustrated but that’s normal because he’s ready to go again.
“I’ve chosen the solution, Sanchez at the start of the season and it worked well.
“I have two options at the moment and we can use both options because Sanchez can play on the flank, Olivier can only play in the middle so I can sometimes marry the two together.”
Arsenal have not won at Old Trafford in the league since September 2006 and Wenger has not beaten Jose Mourinho in 12 Premier League meetings, with the Frenchman accepting that history had weighed on his players.
“Maybe we had a mental block here because for a while it did not go well for us,” he added.
“Was it a bit of fatigue after the mental switch-on after the international break? I don’t know.
“Some players came back late on Thursday and we travelled on Friday morning and played Saturday morning. It’s short but I don’t think it’s an explanation. It’s just that I felt Man United defended very well as well.”