Arsene Wenger has admitted that Olivier Giroud’s move to Chelsea was in some ways forced because the club’s desire to bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in, and that while he would have preferred him not to go to rival club, there were human element to the decision too.
The French international signed left Arsenal on deadline day for £18.5m, after five and a half years at the Emirates, and his desire to stay in London was a key part of what went down.
Speaking at his press conference today, Wenger explained how the Aubameyang deal happened, and later expanded on Giroud’s role in it all.
“First, I think ideally you want him to go to clubs that do not compete with you,” he said.
“On the other hand, it was a bit linked with the Aubameyang deal as well. He wanted to stay [in London], he’s just had a third baby and it was very difficult on the family side to leave London for him.
“Also, the fact we owe Olivier Giroud a lot. His commitment, his dedication and love for the club was absolutely exceptional.
“It was difficult to turn it down, just because it was an opponent who are a competitive club.”
We can all run through scenarios where this one might come back to haunt us a bit, but we got a lot from Giroud, and now we have a new striking hero (hopefully) in the shape of Aubameyang.
Let’s hope he can hit the ground running, despite fears he might miss out tomorrow because of illness.