at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Liverpool, United Kingdom – Olivier Giroud has encouraged Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to add Thierry Henry to his squad this January, ahead of the Gunners' trip to Everton in the Premier League on Wednesday.
New York Red Bulls striker Henry is currently training with Arsenal to maintain his fitness during the Major League Soccer off-season and Wenger has hinted at the possibility of completing a loan move for the forward.
Henry, Arsenal's record scorer, made a similar switch last season and Giroud said he would relish the prospect of teaming up with the 35-yeard-old if his fellow striker were to join the club for a third time.
“Henry misses the enthusiasm around the Premier League. But he didn't tell me if he will be back. It would be a great joy to play with him,” Giroud told French sports newspaper L'Equipe.
Wenger's more immediate concern is his side's visit to Goodison Park to face Everton, where they will attempt to return to winning form after the disappointment of the weekend's scoreless draw at Aston Villa.
The manager's decision to replace the in-form Giroud with defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin late on provoked an angry reaction from some travelling supporters.
Giroud will return to the starting line-up at Everton, where he will hope to maintain the steady improvement he has shown in recent weeks after a frustrating start to his season.
“I have to improve my statistics again and again. I have been patient and worked,” he said.
“When you come into a new club, there is a time to adapt. Even Thierry Henry experienced it. If I could achieved just half of what he achieved...”
Jack Wilshere remained an unused substitute at Villa and Wenger admitted the midfielder had suffered some inflammation to the problematic ankle that helped keep him sidelined for 17 months.
“First, it's a relief that he's had no setback (since returning to action),” said Wenger.
“He had a little bit of inflammation of scar tissue but it's nothing. It's very minor. The rest (against Villa) will help him get rid of it.
“Apart from that, he has done very well. He has not played for 17 months. People forget what that means.
“Seventeen months in a career is massive. But I'm very happy with the way he is progressing.”
Arsenal's failure to beat Villa means they sit one point behind Everton in sixth position and full-back Carl Jenkinson admits this is an important game for the Gunners.
“We go into every game to win it,” Jenkinson said.
“On Saturday (at Villa) it wasn't meant to be, but we've got a huge game against Everton. There's no hiding, we need to win that.”
Meanwhile, Everton manager David Moyes has admitted that he is reviewing the form of goalkeeper Tim Howard and centre-forward Nikica Jelavic following a disappointing sequence that has seen his side lose ground in the contest for fourth place and Champions League qualification.
Moyes claims he needs greater competition for places if his team are to recover from a run that has seen them win just one of their last seven games.
“We are looking for a bit more from him at the moment, because we are a bit short,” said Moyes of Croatia striker Jelavic, who has scored just once in seven games for club and country.
“He is looking to try to find a bit of form and we could look to get him a bit better service.
“We need competition in all areas and that extends to Tim Howard in goal, absolutely. Everybody has got to make sure they are at the top of their game.”
Moyes hopes he will be able to bring midfielders Kevin Mirallas and Darron Gibson back into his thinly stretched squad after they recovered from injuries. – Sapa-AFP