French striker Olivier Giroud left Arsenal on deadline day for a fee of around £18m to join our main London rivals Chelsea this week in a shock move.
Arsene Wenger revealed today in The Telegraph that it was the player’s choice to leave as he wanted to get more first team football in a bid to play for France in the World Cup.
“Olivier wanted more playing time – and wants as well to go to the World Cup, that’s why I opened the door, but he was massively popular here.”
Oli G had gone from first choice striker to an impact sub recently following the acquisition of Alexandre Lacazette last summer and with the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this week as well, this would mean his first team appearances would be even more limited.
Chelsea came in for Giroud after they sold Michy Batshuayi on loan to Dortmund, as the German side looked to try and replace Aubameyang.
Arsene Wenger also revealed that he wouldn’t usually have sold him to a rival, but the player and his family didn’t want to leave London and Wenger said the club ‘owed him a lot’ for his loyalty to to the club:
“Ideally, you don’t want him to go to a rival, but it was very difficult on the family side to leave London. We owe him a lot for his exceptional dedication and commitment to the club…”
Goodnight Sweet Prince and all the best at Chelsea (not really, but good luck with everything, just not the Chelsea part).