Olivier Giroud states that French influence at Arsenal helped him decide on move

The France international striker played a pivotal role last season in helping Montpellier to secure an unlikely title triumph, but he now has his sights set on bigger things
Arsenal's new striker Olivier Giroud has stated that the French connection at the club played a large part in his decision to sign for them this summer.

Giroud made four substitute appearances for France at Euro 2012 and scored 21 goals in Ligue 1 last term as he helped Montpellier to the title ahead of the likes of PSG, Lyon and Bordeaux. The 25 year-old admitted that the prospect of playing alongside some familiar faces meant as much to him as the style of play that the Gunners use.

"I chose Arsenal because they have the French touch," Giroud told TF1.

"There are a lot of French [players here], they have a particular philosophy and command respect."

Arsene Wenger sanctioned the £15m move to end a long transfer pursuit, but Giroud has confessed that his mind was made up to join the Gunners even before Euro 2012 started - although he didn't rule out a move back to Montpellier in the future.

"I had already made my decision at the end of the season before the Euros.

"Many people accounted for me to Montpellier. This may be a goodbye, who knows what the future holds?"

He made his debut for the French international side just last year and has since gone on to make nine appearances for his country, scoring once against Germany in a friendly in February. Despite struggling to start a game for Les Bleus during this summer's Euros, he maintains that the future is bright for French football.

"I lived the Euro from the bench, it was a little frustrating, but it makes me want to come back and grab game time.

"The image of the France [team] may be better, but we have already made progress.

"It is still not perfect, but we will work on it. We have a bright future. With time, we'll get to do beautiful things with these guys."