Arsenal star striker Olivier Giroud is only one away for ‘Century’ of goals for Arsenal. But, in the interview ahead of Europa League opener against FC Cologne – he admits he was ‘close’ to leave this summer.
Giroud is has become of the most respected player inside the dressing room as well as by The supporters. And with only ‘one’ to go for his hundredth, he is to become one of the best signings by Arsene Wenger for a bargain.
‘It’s true I was close to leaving the club,’ said Giroud. ‘I said I wanted to play but after big reflection with everybody around me like my family and close friends in a supportive way I decided I wanted to stay at the Arsenal.
‘I thought the story was not finished at Arsenal. The club has brought me a lot and I want to give it back, improve and win more trophies. I said to the boss our story is not finished.’
‘It’s a privilege for me to play for Arsenal and to score almost a hundred goals,’ said the 30-year-old France international.
‘I hope it happens as quickly as it can. For a striker it’s important to score.
‘I keep it in a part of my mind but most important for me is to win. After, the goals will come if we play well and win our games.’
‘We are very focused for the Europa League,’ said Giroud. ‘We want to win it. I play football to win trophies and we are very ambitious. But this is only the first game. We need to wait. Step by step. We can do it. We want to do it.’
‘Trust me we have a very good team, We have at least two good teams and a lot of competition. It’s nice for everybody when we need to be focused and competitive.’
Giroud insists that tasting victory against Bournemouth has restored back the confidence in the squad.
‘We needed this win because we had a tough start,’ said Giroud. ‘It was not easy and wanted to bounce back. It was a strong response, good character. We were pleased with this result.
‘We’ve been efficient in front of the goal. It’s good for confidence and now we focus on Europa League and a big game on Sunday against Chelsea.’
Manager Arsene Wenger acknowledged Giroud’s commitment as well as his love and loyalty for the club.
‘He has a great evolution here and contribution to the club tremendous,’ said the Arsenal manager. ‘He has shown a very loyal spirit and has high respect inside the club and from fans.’
Arsenal will visit Stamford Bridge for fixture against Chelsea on Sunday therefore some of the key players viz. Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny, Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka and Danny Welbeck are to be rested for the Europe game.
But, Alexis Sanchez took part in training and is expected to feature in the fixture. It will probably serve the Chilean International as warm up before tough test on Sunday.