Giroud ‘happy’ he stayed at Arsenal despite losing place
Olivier Giroud is adamant that he has no regrets about staying with Arsenal despite losing his place as Arsene Wenger’s main striker to £52.7 million record signing Alexandre Lacazette.
The situation is reversed at international level for France, with Giroud again scoring on Friday against Wales – making 15 in his last 22 internationals – to uphold Didier Deschamps’s faith in him. Giroud, 31, could have joined Everton, West Ham United or Marseille last summer but decided to stay at Arsenal and, with regular football in the Europa League and League Cup, does not intend to reconsider his situation in January.
Alexis Sanchez’s likely departure next year should indirectly provide further first-team opportunities and Wenger very much wants Giroud to stay, despite his general preference in the Premier League for Lacazette.
“I am not questioning myself about my future,” said Giroud. “I am happy at Arsenal and I am fine with the decision to stay because I want to. We will see what happens, but I’m happy.”
Giroud is sure Wenger watched the match in Paris, especially given Aaron Ramsey’s involvement for Wales. “Arsene’s always supporting me and there is a lot of trust in each other,” said Giroud. “He trusts in me and I try to give it back on the pitch when I can.”
Giroud’s goal in the 2-0 win over Wales brought him to within one of Jean-Pierre Papin in fifth place on France’s all-time list with 29. Only Zinedine Zidane, David Trezeguet, Michel Platini and Thierry Henry are ahead of Giroud.
“Papin was one of my favourite players,” added Giroud. “I’m very grateful. I’m very proud and I always try to bring something to the national team.
‘‘My best season was in 2015-2016 when I scored 34 goals for Arsenal and France, including the Euros. Usually I play a bit less with Arsenal but I always try to keep my efficiency high. That’s most important for me.’’