New Arsenal signing Olivier Giroud has revealed that he snubbed Chelsea’s interest and chose their London rivals Arsenal because of the French connection.
Giroud, aged 25, had a terrific last season for Montpellier where he ended as the joint top scorer along with Nene. The Frenchman has joined the Gunners recently for a sum of £13m and confessed his love for the North Londoners. He admitted that the fact Arsenal have plenty of French players in their squad influenced his decision as it would be easier for him to adapt to life at the Emirates.
Speaking to French newspaper L’Equipe, Giroud said, Why did I choose Arsenal rather than Chelsea? Because it is a club I love. And I thought it would be easier for my adaptation.
‘Arsenal is a great club, the facilities are wonderful, but I feel it is a club that takes big care before signing a player, notably considering human values.
‘There are French players. There is also Arsene Wenger who let me understand he really wanted me.
‘Chelsea is very nice, it is a great club, but I am not convinced (coach Roberto) Di Matteo knows who I am.’
The left footed Frenchman also spoke highly of his new club captain Robin Van Persie and rejected suggestions that he has been signed as a replacement.
‘When you make the decision to join a great club, you know there is already a great forward,’ he added.
‘I know what to expect.
‘Van Persie is a fantastic player who was outstanding last season. He has been at Arsenal for eight years, I hope I will have time to adapt and improve.
‘Anyway, I don’t go there to take his place.’