Wenger: Giroud is an 'Arsenal' man at heart and only left to play in the World Cup
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has gone on record claiming that Chelsea’s £18m striker Olivier Giroud didn’t want to leave the North London club and only did so because he needed game time to play in this summer’s World Cup.
Calling Giroud an ‘Arsenal man at heart’, Wenger said to the Metro;
“Olivier is an Arsenal man as well. He left for similar reasons to Theo Walcott, by being sad to leave but also objective enough to analyse his situation. His professional career demanded that he moved, but his heart wanted him to stay. Both Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud are similar cases on that front”.
The comments are peculiar from Wenger to say the least, considering that even before Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signed Giroud was struggling to stay in the starting XI.
By moving to Chelsea, not only has Giroud found a club where he will get to show his talent on the pitch – after all, he has been a regular Premier League scorer for many seasons – but he has joined a club with a pedigree of winning titles in the recent past, something that is a long-lost memory at the Emirates Stadium.
At Chelsea, he is surrounded by players who are used to winning, and their recent failure will hurt – unlike at Arsenal where it is just another day at the office.
If you were Olivier Giroud, who would you rather be lining up alongside?
Eden Hazard or Jack Wilshere?
Cesar Azpilicueta or Rob Holding?
N’Golo Kante or Granit Xhaka?
Pedro or Alex Iwobi?
Thibaut Courtois or Petr Cech? (apologies Petr).
Of course, Giroud wants to play for France in the summer, but he also wants to feel valued and have a chance of winning something. By signing a 5-and-a-half year deal at Stamford Bridge Giroud has given himself a chance of putting actual trophies in his cabinet and improving his game by being surrounded by winners.
Wenger’s comments feel like they have come from a man who has looked at his new signings, realised not a lot has changed and is regretting letting one of his soldiers go.