Family And Friends Talked Giroud Round
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud admits he was close to leaving the club this summer.
The France international became frustrated last season after 18 of his 29 first-team appearances for the Gunners came off the substitutes’ bench. Arsenal bought striker Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon this summer while Everton and West Ham United were both linked with Giroud as were Ligue 1 side Marseille. But the 30-year-old decided that his future remained with the Gunners.
“Actually that was a very private decision,” said Giroud at a press conference ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League match with Bundesliga side Cologne on Thursday. ”Because it’s true that I was close to leaving the club because I said that I wanted to play.
“But after a big reflection with everybody around me, like my family and my close friends in a supportive way, I wanted to stay at the Arsenal and I thought the story was not over, it was not finished at Arsenal.
“The club bring me a lot and I think I give it back and I still want to improve again and again and win some more trophies for the club. So as I said to the boss our story was not finished, and everybody was pleased with that.”
But Giroud’s situation has hardly improved. He remains out of the first-team picture as a regular starter and if he makes the starting eleven on Thursday it will be for the first time this season.
The striker is currently on 99 goals during his Arsenal career and he is hoping to make the 100 mark sooner rather than later.
“Obviously for a striker it’s always important to score, the statistics are very important, and I keep it in a part of my mind,” he said.
“But the most important thing for me is to win obviously and after that the goals will come. We are very focused on this Europa League, we want to go and win it, we are very ambitious and I am looking forward to the game tomorrow.”