SYDNEY (AP) — Olivier Giroud eclipsed new signing Alexandre Lacazette by scoring the opener as Arsenal beat Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 in a friendly on Saturday amid uncertainty about the striker’s future with the London club.
“There is a lot of speculation,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said of Giroud. “I have many times said that I have a huge respect for Olivier Giroud for the man he is and the way he loves our club. Even with all the speculation he is focused and does his job. I always said (that I expect him to stay). I was always consistent with that.”
But Giroud continues to be linked with a move from Arsenal, especially after Lacazette joined from French club Lyon 60 million euros ($68 million) last week. The 26-year-old striker made his first start for Arsenal, but couldn’t score as he did from the bench in a 2-0 victory over Sydney FC on Thursday.
“Lacazette will play most of the time as center forward,” Wenger said. “He can play in any system because he’s a provider as well, he can combine and play in a 4-4-2. At the moment he plays a little bit behind Giroud,…