By 90Min
October 11, 2017

Former Arsenal winger and France international Robert Pires believes that current Gunners front man Olivier Giroud should start ahead of wonderkid Kylian Mbappe in next year's World Cup.

Pires says that Mbappe's age plays a major part in his logic, as the pressures of the World Cup will only be detrimental to the inexperienced 18-year-old. 

Pires told Le Parisien (via The Evening Standard): "Have people forgotten his age or what? He is only 18 years old.

"He has a potential to be way above the average and yes it is absolutely necessary that he plays, but from there to make him a leader? It is too much pressure on him. Do not burn his wings."

In France's last two qualifying games Mbappe and Giroud each started one game and were used as a substitute in the other. With Giroud scoring in the game he started against Belarus, Pires only backs up his claim that the pressure could get to the youngster far too easily. 

"I was surprised as the choice of the system. I prefer 4-4-2 which allows having two attackers and real wingmen who can work offensively and defensively. I find it more balanced," Pires added.

"With [Alexandre] Lacazette, you have to be patient. Defensively he made efforts. I do not worry in the long term. But for the World Cup, Deschamps will not change much and will respect the hierarchy with Giroud before Lacazette. 

"With Olivier, he can count on a great pro who will never pose a problem and you can rely on him." 

Giroud is currently competing with Lacazette for a starting place in Arsenal's squad as well as the French national team. The 31-year-old was reportedly close to signing for Everton in the summer in order to secure more game time ahead of the World Cup in 2018. 

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