Giroud explains Arsenal stay

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The France international has been linked with the likes of Everton and Marseille, but he has committed himself to the Gunners and welcomed competition

Olivier Giroud says something in his “soul and heart” told him to shun summer interest and remain at Arsenal.

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The France international striker has seen his future called into question on a regular basis over recent weeks, with the likes of Everton, West Ham and Marseille reported to be keen.

He has, however, openly admitted that he wants to continue proving himself in north London, while Arsene Wenger has talked up his qualities.

The 30-year-old may not be a guaranteed starter for the Gunners, having stepped off the bench again to net the winning goal in a thrilling 4-3 season opener against Leicester on Friday, but he believes there is more to come from him amid fierce competition for places.

"There was something in my soul and in my heart which told me to stay," Giroud said when quizzed on his decision to stick with Arsenal.

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"I've been hesitating because I'm the most happy man when I play and I am on the pitch.

"But I keep the faith and I still believe I can have an important part to play this season in the club and I feel good in my head and also physically.

Olivier Giroud Arsenal

"So I am 100 per cent focused on the club project. I've been through five amazing years here so I felt like the story had to continue.

"There are nice days to come from me in an Arsenal shirt.

"Good competition is always good for the team - it forces you to always give your best."

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Giroud found Alexis Sanchez favoured in a central role last season, while Alexandre Lacazette has arrived this summer for a club record fee.

Wenger, though, has always maintained that the burly frontman has an important role to play, with fresh terms agreed with a proven performer in January.

After his effort against the Foxes on the opening weekend of the 2017-18 Premier League campaign, Giroud is now just one goal short of reaching 100 for the Gunners.

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