Olivier Giroud has admitted that he took the opportunity to join Chelsea from rivals Arsenal after holding a brief communication with manager Antonio Conte. The France international was initially tipped to join Borussia Dortmund in a deal involving Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but he ended up inking an 18-month with the Premier League holders.
As a result, Michy Batshuayi was permitted to join Dortmund on loan to complete a transfer merry-go-round between three clubs, and Giroud is obviously content to have joined a massive club, where he is hoping to achieve further success in the backend of his career.
He said: “Basically for me the most important thing has been talking with the coach Antonio Conte. I really feel like that he really want me. He really wanted to work with me. Obviously, Chelsea is a massive club so it was a great opportunity for me to start a new adventure with Chelsea. I’m very proud to sign here.”
Giroud obviously had a preference to stay in London due to his family being settled in the city, and Chelsea could be the perfect foil for the Frenchman with Conte likely to deploy him as a target man, something which he did with Fernando Llorente during his time at Juventus.
Alvaro Morata has of late struggled with a recurrent back problem, which has affected his exploits in front of goal, and Giroud could be drafted straight into the starting line-up when they take on Watford at Vicarage Road on Monday night.
Chelsea’s hopes of challenging for the Premier League are more or less finished, and the efforts must lie on securing a top-four spot, where they have strong competition from the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, and Arsenal. Giroud was the Blues’ third recruit of the winter transfer window after the signings of Ross Barkley and Emerson Palmieri.