Olivier Giroud has admitted that he was disappointed at having to leave Arsenal having scored over 100 goals for the club but then being reduced to a bit-part player, and had no choice but to move away to find some first team action to give him hope of going to the World Cup with his country this summer.
Once Arsene Wenger had decided to bring in another centre-forward in Aubameyang, the French international told the media that he spoke to Didier Deschamps for advice before choosing to move on as part of the chain that ensured that the Gabonese hitman ended up at the Emirates.
He told Telefoot: ‘A week before the end of the transfer window, I needed to hear his (Deschamps’) opinion. He didn’t encourage me to join Chelsea. But he encouraged me to change clubs.
‘Dortmund were interested but for a loan deal. There was Sevilla and my agent also received a phone call from Roma. But my choice was quite clear and obvious when I knew that Antonio Conte wanted to work with me.’
‘I had wanted to stay at Arsenal to try my luck even when Alex Lacazette arrived. The reality is that the coach (Arsene Wenger) wanted to recruit another central striker (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang).
‘When he signed, that made three central strikers and that is why I decided to leave.
‘It was logical to give my career a new direction. There was a bit of disappointment even if I spent five magnificent years there.’
It must have felt strange being first choice striker for a team that got to the final of the Euros, but just 18 months later ending up as third-choice centre-forward at Arsenal. You can understand why he was a bit disappointed….
Who feels sorry for Olivier?