Giroud Hits The Winner In Seven-Goal Thriller
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hailed striker Olivier Giroud after the Frenchman came off the bench to score the winning goal in the Gunners’ 4-3 victory over Leicester on Friday.
Giroud has been linked with a move away from the Emirates with Marseille, West Ham United and, in particular, Everton all being linked. But while Wenger spoke of his respect for Giroud he did admit that he almost sold the 30-year-old.
“I love the man and the player because he is a fantastic guy, he is committed and loves the club and he does not want to leave and I am happy that he wants to stay,” Wenger said after the match.
“But at some stage I opened the door for him because I knew that I had many strikers, but he is really loved here and we love him and in the end he decided to stay.”
Giroud started in a familiar position – on the bench – with Wenger opting to play Alexandre Lacazette and Danny Welbeck as his two main strikers. Both got on the scoresheet in the first half – Lacazette within the opening two minutes – but Giroud replaced defender Rob Holding midway through the second half with Arsenal trailing 3-2. Aaron Ramsey equalised with seven minutes to go before Giroud’s header two minutes later sealed the points for Arsenal.
“I prefer to be on the pitch as much as I can but I want to help the team reach the targets,” Giroud said after the match. It was the seventh time he has scored as a substitute since the beginning of last season.
The striker was named on the bench in no fewer than 21 Premier League games in 2016-17. He came on as a sub 18 times and scored 12 Premier League goals at an average of one for every 100 minutes on the pitch.