It’s five years since Olivier Giroud signed for us; it might only be a matter of hours before he reaches 100 goals for the club.
No 99 was the winner against Leicester City on the opening day of the season. No 100 almost came against Bournemouth on Saturday, and now Cologne are in Giroud’s sights.
And yet the France striker would have been stranded on 98 if he’d opted to leave us for a new challenge in the summer.
“Actually that was a very private decision,” said Giroud, ”because it’s true that I was close to leaving the club because I said that I wanted to play.
“But after a big reflection with everybody around me, like my family and my close friends in a supportive way, I wanted to stay at the Arsenal and I thought the story was not over, it was not finished at Arsenal.
“The club bring me a lot and I think I give it back and I still want to improve again and again and win some more trophies for the club. So as I said to the boss our story was not finished, and everybody was pleased with that.”
Arsene Wenger certainly was. “I don’t want him to feel uneasy [because he’s next to me at this press conference], but I have said many times that his contribution has been huge,” he said.
“He has had a great evolution here and overall the contribution has been tremendous. He has shown I think a very loyal spirit and has a high respect from everybody inside the club, but as well our fans.”
As for that imminent milestone, Giroud admits it will mean so much. “Obviously for a striker it’s always important to score, the statistics are very important, and I keep it in a part of my mind,” he said.
“But the most important thing for me is to win obviously and after that the goals will come. We are very focused on this Europa League, we want to go and win it, we are very ambitious and I am looking forward to the game tomorrow.”
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