New Chelsea signing Olivier Giroud has today spoken on his move to Stamford Bridge from London rivals Arsenal, following a hectic transfer deadline day saga.
31-year-old hitman Giroud was heavily linked with a departure from the Emirates last summer, following the big-money arrival of Alexandre Lacazette at the club from Lyon.
The likes of Everton, West Ham United, Marseille and more were known to have expressed an interest in bringing Giroud in, but, in the end, he stayed put in North London, vowing to fight for his place with the club.
Out of favour
The experienced attacker’s plan to battle with French international teammate Lacazette for starting duties did not go exactly according to plan in the months that followed, though, with the former Montpellier man given the nod from the start in just 1 Premier League game to this point in the season.
World Cup hopes
Unsurprisingly, Giroud’s lack of a regular starting place at the Emirates led to inevitable January exit links for the Frenchman, with both the striker and his agent having hinted over recent weeks that a departure from North London would be beneficial, especially with this summer’s World Cup drawing ever closer.
In addition, Arsenal’s long-anticipated (now complete) move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looked set to make the pathway to regular minutes for Giroud at Arsenal an even more difficult one.
Giroud’s proven goalscoring pedigree over the last 6 seasons at the Emirates resulted in a number of clubs expressing an interest in his services over the course of the winter transfer window.
However, despite heavy links with the likes of Borussia Dortmund and West Ham, surprisingly, it was Arsenal’s London rivals Chelsea who, in the end, coughed up the required fee of around £18 million to coax the Frenchman to Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day:
Chelsea Football Club has today completed the signing of Olivier Giroud from Arsenal.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 31, 2018
Speaking in an interview with Chelsea’s official website earlier today, Giroud was questioned on his motives for making the move to the Premier League champions, with the powerful striker revealing:
‘The most important thing was talking with the coach, Antonio Conte. I felt like he really wanted me and he really wanted to work with me.’
‘I wanted to sign for Chelsea and nowhere else. I really wanted to play more. I wanted to stay in the Premier League, and Chelsea for me is perfect because I can even stay in London.’
‘But the first reason is the sporting challenge. That has always been my first priority. Everything is here for me to be happy.’