Giroud explains reasons for Arsenal stay: Our story is not finished

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The France striker came close to leaving the Gunners in the summer but admits he changed his mind and has unfinished business at the club

Olivier Giroud believes that his story with Arsenal is not finished after coming close to leaving the Gunners this summer.

The French striker was subject of interest from several teams including Everton after deciding to leave in search of regular playing time following the club record signing of Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon.

Arsenal 7/1 to win Europa League

However, Giroud changed his mind following discussions with close friends and family.

“That’s a very private decision,” Giroud told reporters in the Gunners’s press conference ahead of their Europa League opener against Koln.

“It’s true that I was close to leaving the club as I said I wanted to play but [I stayed] after a big reflection with family and close friends. In a sporting way I wanted to stay at the Arsenal and I thought the story was not finished.

“The club believe in me a lot and I think I give it back. I still want to improve again and again and want to win some more trophies with the club.

“As I said to the boss, our story was not finished and everybody was pleased with that.”

Giroud

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger praised Giroud for the loyalty he's shown towards the club since joining from Montpellier in 2012 and recognised his contribution to the north London side as 'tremendous'.

"I don’t want him to feel uneasy but I’ve said many times his contribution has been huge," he said. "He’s had a great evolution here and overall the contribution to the club has been tremendous.

"He’s shown a very loyal spirit as well and has a high respect from everyone inside the club as well."

Giroud is one away from a century of goals for Arsenal and says he remains focused on Thursday's match, even if he will have the record in the back of his mind, and relishes the competition for places up front.

"Obviously for a striker it’s very important to score but I keep it in my mind. The most important is to win and after that the goals will come if we play well and play our game.

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"We are very focused on the Europa League and want to go and win it. We are very ambitious and I’m looking forward to the game tomorrow."

"We’ve got at least two good teams and a lot of competition. It’s very nice for everybody. We need to be focused and competitive. We need to keep the focus high and improve ourselves.

"It’s always nice to have good players alongside you. Trust me we’ve got a very good team on paper tomorrow. It’s a privilege to play for Arsenal and almost score 100 goals."

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