Arsene Wenger reveals why Olivier Giroud wanted to quit Arsenal for London rivals Chelsea

Chelsea completed the signing of Giroud earlier this week, on an 18-month deal for a fee in the region of £18m

Friday 02 February 2018 11:46 GMT
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Arsenal sold Olivier Giroud to Chelsea this week
Arsenal sold Olivier Giroud to Chelsea this week (Getty)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Arsene Wenger has revealed that Olivier Giroud’s determination to play for France at the 2018 World Cup was behind the striker’s decision to leave Arsenal for Chelsea in the January transfer market.

Chelsea completed the signing of Giroud earlier this week, on an 18-month deal for a fee in the region of £18m.

His move to the reigning Premier League champions was confirmed soon after Arsenal completed a club record deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who arrived from Borussia Dortmund for £56m.

Giroud had fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium, starting just one Premier League match this season, and Wenger revealed at his press conference on Friday that the Frenchman had moved away to make sure he does not miss out on his spot in Russia this summer.

“Olivier wanted more playing time - and wants as well to go to the World Cup,” Wenger said.

“That is why I opened the door. But he was massively popular here.”

Wenger also admitted that he “ideally” wouldn’t have sold Giroud to London rivals Chelsea.

Giroud will wear the No 18 shirt at Chelsea
Giroud will wear the No 18 shirt at Chelsea (Getty)

Allowing Giroud to leave for Stamford Bridge became a condition of the Aubameyang deal, as Dortmund did not want to allow the striker to leave the club without signing Michy Batshuayi on loan from Chelsea.

And Wenger also said that Giroud did not want to uproot his family from London – leaving Chelsea as his only possible destination.

“Ideally, you don’t want him to go to a rival,” Wenger added.

“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.”

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