Charlie Nicholas claims Olivier Giroud didn’t want to leave Arsenal in January, but the striker just had to accept what happened in the end, as he didn’t have much choice.
Giroud scored another crucial goal for Chelsea this weekend, bagging the opener as his new club knocked Southampton out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage. Before the game, Nicholas told Sky Sports that Antonio Conte should play the Frenchman, even though the two probably didn’t particularly want to end up together.
“I would choose Giroud also, he holds the ball in better,” Nicholas said. “Giroud’s just accepted ‘Look, I didn’t want to leave Arsenal but I’ve come here. You’ve bought me. The manager probably didn’t want to bring me in because he’s leaving so he’s not that fussed about me’. But if I’m picking one to start, it would be Giroud.
“And he’s scored a few goals now, he’s come out and done the business for them.”
I’m not sure exactly how much inside information Charlie Nicholas has at Arsenal, but to be fair he’s probably not far off. We know that Giroud loved being in North London, hence his contract extension last year. He reaffirmed that commitment to the club in the summer by choosing to stay again.
The problem was that Arsenal needed to move on from him. They needed to give the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette a chance. Clearly that’s working out very well for them, and even Danny Welbeck is profiting from the change.
Thankfully, it doesn’t seem like there were any losers from the situation. Giroud might have been hesitant to leave, but now he’s performing well at his new club. If he can prevent Jose Mourinho winning a trophy next month, even better.