Arsene Wenger has explained why Olivier Giroud decided to swap Arsenal for Premier League rivals Chelsea in the winter transfer window after the forward made the switch for around £18 million.
Arsenal will be hopeful of fielding their new deadly attack force at the weekend after a largely successful winter window. Alexis Sanchez finally departed the club as he joined Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. His departure saw the London side make a number of high profile signings that will only strengthen their attack.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was a part of the deal that saw Sanchez leave, with the Armenian moving to Arsenal after he had struggled to break into Mourinho’s first team. Wenger was also able to oversee a move for Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The forward has proved to be one of the most deadly finishers in Europe in recent seasons and he will now look to help Arsenal reclaim a Champions League place for their next campaign.
However, in order to bring in Aubameyang, Wenger had to allow Olivier Giroud to leave the club. Chelsea had reportedly been looking for a target-man in the current window, and they eventually got their wish, with Giroud moving across London.
Following his move, Wenger has explained why Giroud left, as the Independent reported that he said: “Olivier wanted more playing time – and wants as well to go to the World Cup. That is why I opened the door. But he was massively popular here”.
Giroud’s switch could see the forward get a lot more game time as Chelsea’s first-choice striker Alvaro Morata is struggling with injury. With a Champions League knock-out game against Barcelona to come, Chelsea desperately needed another striker, and they got a very accomplished one in Giroud.