Arsene Wenger has revealed he opened the door for Olivier Giroud to leave Arsenal this summer but says it was ‘one of the great days’ when his compatriot confirmed he’d rather stay at the club.
The boss was full of praise for the striker after he came off the bench to score the winner in the Gunners dramatic 4-3 comeback victory over Leicester City on the first day of the new season.
The France international applied a towering header to Granit Xhaka’s late corner to seal three vital points with just four minutes remaining on the clock.
“It was one of the great days when he decided to stay,” Wenger told press after the game. “He will not leave.”
Giroud’s decision to commit comes despite interest from the likes of Everton, West Ham, Borussia Dortmund, Marseille and Lyon. Having taken his tally in Arsenal colours to 99 goals, he’s now well placed to become the club’s latest centurion.
“I love the man and the player,” added Wenger. “He is a fantastic guy. He is committed and he loves the club.
“He doesn’t want to leave and I’m happy he wants to stay.
“At some stage I opened the door for him because I knew I had many strikers, but he is really loved here.
“We love him and in the end he decided to stay.”
You have to hand it to Giroud, whenever he is set a challenge, whenever he is doubted, he never backs down. He’s a real trooper and he’s sure to be a useful option this season.