Arsenal have been trying extremely hard to trim the ‘heavy’ squad and have been reasonably successful, but one player who was offered the chance to leave to gain first team football was the French international Olivier Giroud, who was set to be dropped down the pecking order after the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette, and will be even less in demand now that Alexis Sanchez is expected to stay at Arsenal this season.
Giroud is currently first choice for the French national side, but that could be put in jeopardy if he doesn’t get many games for the Gunners and he would have had a much better chance of going to the World Cup next summer if he was playing regularly, and even more so if he was performing well for a top French side. But he has now revealed that he turned down two moves to top French clubs in Marseille and Lyon.
Speaking to French television, Giroud said: “I did not reject Marseille. I just told the coach when I got it on the phone… Actually I got it on the phone once it was released in the press […]. After a while [Rudi Garcia] wanted to know if I was interested or not by the project of the Olympique de Marseille.
“I always said that it was not an option for me to return to France, at least not in the near future. So it was not in relation to Marseille, since the project is very ambitious and very interesting. But it was not for me.
“The fact of returning to France was never an option. So here it was not personally compared to Marseille because there was also Lyon. Although I am very flattered to have been courted by these two great French clubs.”
I can imagine that Arsene Wenger offered Oli the chance to leave, but would have said he would remain as backup to Lacazette as Le Prof expected Alexis to leave. How many chances will he get now?