Olivier Giroud says Arsene Wenger would have been ‘p**sed off’ had he not gone to the World Cup and although Dortmund offered him more money, he preferred to go to Chelsea and Wenger was happy to help.
Towards the end of the January transfer window, it became clear Arsenal needed to let Giroud go to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The two options were either to loan him directly to Dortmund, or sell to Chelsea, who would loan Michy Batshuayi to Dortmund. The Frenchman discussed both options in a recent appearance on French TV.
“The easy way is to go to Dortmund,” Giroud told Telefoot. “Arsenal was happy, Dortmund too, it was the most interesting proposal, financially speaking. On the destination, I never doubted. The choice was obvious. Also because Chelsea was a transfer, not a loan like Dortmund. I wanted to be happy again by playing, so I left.”
Giroud also explained that he put some pressure on Wenger to get the move, but wasn’t worried about the boss standing in his way:
“I went to the manager to ask how far he was with Aubameyang,” he recalled. “My agent and I put him under a bit of pressure. At the time I spoke with my agent several times a day. That is normal, because I did not want the step to Chelsea to be taken away from me. Wenger said: Do not worry, I will make you happy.
“On the one hand it was normal, I had never asked to leave. On the other hand, he knew that I would not cause problems, given the relationship we had. Wenger even said that he would be pissed off if I missed the World Cup.”
Many questioned the decision to sell Giroud to Chelsea, particularly after Lacazette’s injury and the 31-year-old’s fast start to life with his new club.
Wenger found a club that wanted Giroud, and one he was happy to sell to – Dortmund. That club made a good financial offer, and clearly would have been able to offer game time, with Aubameyang leaving.
Yet, despite all that, Giroud wanted to stay in London and Wenger happily accommodated him even though it meant strengthening a rival.
Loyalty really can be his biggest problem, sometimes.