Olivier Giroud feels he had to leave Arsenal for Chelsea, and has already shown what he’s all about in his home debut.
The striker merry-go-round in January saw Giroud get off on the west side of London.
The 31-year-old spent over five years at Arsenal, but the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang meant his first team chances were about to become even more limited.
With a World Cup coming up this summer, the Frenchman simply had to leave the club so he could play more.
Speaking after Chelsea’s 3-0 win over West Brom last Monday, Giroud explained why he left, and why Chelsea was the right place to go.
“It’s been a while since I played regularly and that’s why I needed to move. I needed a new challenge and Chelsea was the perfect club for me,” he told the Mirror.
“It’s the Premier League, a club which has won more titles in the past 10 years than any other. It’s a massive club and I am very proud to be here and to carry on my career in the Premier League.
“I had five amazing years there (Arsenal), but now it’s a new chapter of my career and I am focused 100% on the Blues to reach our targets. I’m very happy to be here.”
Giroud went on to say that he’d received a warm welcome from the Chelsea players, and that he was ready to put his time at Arsenal behind him.
“My integration has been very good,” he said, as reported by ESPN.
“They have warmly welcomed me. There are quite a few French, and there are some French-speaking Belgians. I already knew a few of them. It all happened naturally. I’m very happy today.”
“As a football player you need to move on and be ready the first day at your new club. It’s a new challenge for me. It was special for me to leave Arsenal because I had five amazing years there.”
Giroud started in Chelsea’s 3-0 win and set-up the opening goal with a trademark first-time lay-off for Eden Hazard.
He received a number of knocks throughout the game, yet did his best to keep playing.
He may not have scored, but it was still a home debut to remember.
“It’s certain that I’ll remember that one,” he said.
“People were getting stuck in. It’s true that I was a little unfortunate when the defender landed on me with his studs. In fact, at half-time, they put in five stitches. I felt a little bit dazed at first, but it was fine after that.
“And as if that wasn’t enough, I took another one to the calf. That was more painful, because afterwards, when I came in at half-time, I was really struggling. I wanted to continue, but it can’t be helped.
“All the same, I’m happy to have helped the team win the game. There were some very good things and others will need to be worked on. In any case, I felt good and I’m happy to have won for this first match.”