Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is insistent that his “story is not over” with the club, despite revealing that he was close to leaving the Emriates during the summer.
The arrival of fellow French international Alexandre Lacazette has meant that Giroud has fallen down the pecking order, making all of his appearances so far this campaign from the bench.
Welbeck, too, has seemingly surpassed Giroud in manager Arsene Wenger’s eyes, but the striker will be handed a big chance to impress in Thursday’s Europa League opener against Cologne.
Giroud did score his side’s late winner on the opening day of the Premier League season, when the Gunners defeated Leciester City at the Emirates, but admits he was close to leaving.
“Actually that’s a very private decision because it’s true that I was close to leaving the club because I said that I wanted to play.
“But after a big reflection with everybody around me, like my family and my close friends, I (decided I) wanted to stay at Arsenal and I thought the story was not over, (not) finished at Arsenal.
“The club bring me a lot and I think I give it back. I still want to improve again and again and win some more trophies for the club, so as I said to the boss our story is not finished, so everybody was pleased with that.”
Wenger has always been open about his ambitions to keep Giroud at the North London club, and was full of praise for the 30-year-old ahead of the Cologne game.
“I have said many times that his contribution has been huge,” he said.
“He has had a great evolution here and overall (his) contribution has been tremendous, and I think he has shown a very loyal spirit and has a high respect from everybody inside the club, as well as (from) our fans.”