Arsenal hero going nowhere, £20m exit to PL rivals turned down as Wenger reveals love

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud turned down the chance to leave the club this summer, according to Arsene Wenger, and he’s delighted to keep him.

The Frenchman came off the bench to score the winning goal in a thrilling 4-3 victory over Leicester City at the Emirates on Friday night, as the Gunners rescued themselves to start the season with a win.

Giroud had been heavily linked with an exit this summer after Alexandre Lacazette’s arrival at the club, with The Sun noting that a £20m move to Everton had been touted.

However, despite the battle that he now faces this season for regular playing time at Arsenal, the 30-year-old had no desire to leave according to Wenger, and the veteran tactician is delighted to have him at his disposal still.

“It’s impossible to keep all the strikers happy when they don’t play, but we have many games and hopefully I can give them all a good number of games.

“I love the man and the player [Giroud] and he doesn’t want to leave and I’m happy that he wants to stay.

“I opened the door for him, because I knew we had many strikers, but he’s really loved here and he decided to stay.”

Giroud will undoubtedly prove to be an important figure for the north London giants this season, as he offers something different up front and can act as a Plan B, or could even spearhead the attack with various options around him.

With a habit of scoring key goals off the bench, as seen last year and on Friday night, he’s a crucial player for Arsenal and with the Europa League to also consider, Wenger will undoubtedly have plenty of opportunities to use him.

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