According to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, France international forward Olivier Giroud wanted to stay at Arsenal, but had to move to Chelsea in January in search of first team football.
Wenger told Arsenal Magazine: “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.
Struggled for first-team football
In reality, Giroud had struggled for first-team football for the last season and a half at Arsenal. Even last season when the Frenchman was supposed to be the team first-choice striker, Alexis Sanchez started up front ahead of Giroud.
The signing of Giroud’s international teammate Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon in the summer was almost the last rights of Giroud’s Arsenal career. Lacazette was first-choice striker and arrived with a big pedigree in front of goal.
While Giroud scored a decent number of goals for Arsenal, but he was hardly prolific and often let the Gunners down in front of goal.
Arsenal fans were always hoping for an upgrade on the former Montpellier man and it came with Lacazette signing for the north London club. Lacazette has since been usurped by January signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front. The French international also currently sidelined through injury.
Made the right move for his career
Giroud had to end his five and a half year stint with the club for the sake of his career. At 31, he could not let his career stagnate on the Arsenal bench. His decision to move on is very understandable.
If he would have stayed at Arsenal his place in France’s World Cup starting line-up would have been in major jeopardy. I am sure the move was partly motivated by Russia 2018.
Giroud has played more regularly for Chelsea in the last few months than he has done at Arsenal for the last few seasons. He has recently revealed that he is happy at Stamford Bridge. However, he feels he should have scored more goals. That sounds like a similar situation to his time at Arsenal.
Olivier Giroud was a good player for Arsenal, not great but good. He scored some important goals. However, January seemed the natural time for the striker to move elsewhere, as the Gunners was signing Aubameyang and the striker needed first-team football. It was the right move for everybody involved.
Should Giroud have stayed at Arsenal?