PARIS, Feb 4 — Olivier Giroud revealed today his move from Arsenal to Chelsea was motivated by a World Cup warning from France coach Didier Deschamps.
Having dropped down the pecking order with Arsene Wenger’s Gunners, Giroud knew he would need to be playing more regularly if he is to convince Deschamps to take him to Russia in June.
“I called Didier Deschamps a week before the end of the transfer window as I needed his opinion,” the 31-year-old striker told TF1.
“He encouraged me to change clubs,” added Giroud, who signed an 18-month deal with the English Premier League champions.
Giroud has been a consistent part of Deschamps’s plans despite a plethora of attacking talent in France, and the target man has scored 29 goals in 69 France appearances.
“You know how attached I am to the national team and I want to play at a World Cup in Russia, which will surely be my last, so I have to give myself the best possible chance,” he said, adding that he “needed a new challenge, a new club”.
The man who spearheaded Montpellier’s astonishing Ligue 1 title winning campaign in 2012 said the lure of working with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte determined his destination.
“Dortmund were interested but for a loan deal, Sevilla too, my agent even got a call from Roma,” Giroud revealed.
“But the choice was clear and obvious once I knew that Antonio Conte wanted to work with me.”
With first-choice striker Alvaro Morata sidelined by a back injury, Conte had been in the market for a player with Giroud’s physical presence. — AFP