Olivier Giroud has opened up on his exits from Arsenal and Chelsea while claiming he found it especially hard to depart Stamford Bridge.
Oliver Giroud, 34, is still playing at the highest level and has prolonged his career at AC Milan after nearly a decade of success in the Premier League. Having played for Arsenal and Chelsea, the French international left the English shores as one of the most decorated strikers in world football.
After spending the major chunk of his playing days in England, Giroud spent most of his time at Arsenal, winning the FA Cup three times under Arsene Wenger. However, when he was deemed out of favour at the Emirates, he took the chance to join rivals, Chelsea.
At Stamford Bridge, Giroud won numerous honours, including the FA Cup, Europa League and the Champions League. Despite becoming a key part of Frank Lampard’s side, the Frenchman found it hard to stake a claim in Thomas Tuchel’s team, as the German manager preferred to play Kai Havertz and Timo Werner upfront.
The striker still considers himself in the frame to feature for France in next year’s World Cup and hence wanted to keep playing at the highest level. He moved to AC Milan in the summer, and despite starting life brightly at the San Siro, COVID-19 and injuries prevented him from having the desired impact.
Speaking with talkSPORT, Giroud opened up on his exits from Arsenal and Chelsea. He claimed, leaving the Blues was much harder than departing the Emirates.
Giroud said, “[I spent] three seasons-and-a-half there [at Chelsea]. I had an amazing time at Arsenal, but [at Chelsea] I can say even more because I won the big titles. It was emotionally difficult to leave when I left Montpellier and Arsenal, but even more tough [at Chelsea] because I didn’t play the last three months, so it was evidence for me to leave and go for another challenge.”
“I felt frustrated a little bit not to play the last three months because I contributed well to the Champions League success by finishing top scorer for the team. But what can I say? We were so successful, and I am so pleased with the FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League. I scored a few important goals. It was tough to leave Chelsea and the Premier League, but at the end of the day, I think it was the best solution for me.”
Giroud did prove to be an important player for both Arsenal and Chelsea, although it is understandable why leaving Chelsea was a harder decision. Now at AC Milan, he will be eager to enjoy a solid campaign and subsequently earn a place in the France squad for the World Cup next year.