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Olivier Giroud has said Arsenal fans understand why he had to leave the club and join Chelsea last January.
The striker will return to the Emirates as a Chelsea player for the first time this weekend in Saturday’s Premier League London derby
Why did Giroud have to leave Arsenal for Chelsea? Five key things to know…
- Chelsea parted ways with a reported £18m fee to take Giroud to Stamford Bridge almost exactly a year ago.
- Giroud says Chelsea offered him the opportunity to play more often than he was at Arsenal.
- Arsenal needed to sell Giroud to make room in their squad for £56m signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
- Giroud went on to win the FA Cup with Chelsea and the World Cup with France.
- However, he has scored just 10 goals for Chelsea while Aubameyang has netted 26 for Arsenal.
Giroud made 253 appearances across all competitions for Arsenal following his move from Montpellier in the summer of 2012.
The Frenchman was a fan favourite at the Emirates, and he believes the Arsenal supporters won’t forget what he brought to the club during his time in north London.
“People understand why I had to move,” Giroud told reporters.
“It was not my choice but it was a great opportunity for me to show my determination to carry on playing in the Premier League, especially for a big club like Chelsea.
“I settled well, we won the FA Cup and I had an opportunity to play more than when I was at Arsenal. After that, I had a good World Cup with France, so for me, it was definitely a good choice to leave.
“But Arsenal fans don’t forget what you have done. They were amazing years, I improved a lot. I owe them a lot. It will be a great moment for me to go back.”