Blow! Season Opener Star Confirmed To Be Leaving Soon

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed Olivier Giroud got the opportunity to leave the club during the summer transfer window but snubbed it.

The French tactician made the revelation after the France international netted the winner against Leicester City in the Premier League opener on Friday. The Gunners won 4-3, and afterward, Wenger heaped praises on the player when speaking to Sky Sports (via ESPN FC):

“I love the man and the player. He’s a fantastic guy and he’s committed. He doesn’t want to leave and I’m happy he wants to stay.

“At one stage I opened the door for him as I knew I had many strikers, and in the end he decided to stay.”

Giroud also had a talk with the reporters, saying he is hoping to be used more often in a better role in the future after coming on as a substitute on Friday: “That’s a nice start, but obviously I prefer to be on the pitch. Tonight we needed this win and everyone knows the first game is important for the confidence.”

The 30-year-old was linked with several top clubs during the summer, with Ligue 1 side Marseille mentioned as showing the most interest, according to L’Equipe (h/t Stuart Ballard of the Daily Star). Marseille manager Rudi Garcia recently told reporters Giroud likely was not keen on a move to his club, but until then, the move was seen as plausible.

The former Montpellier man has been Arsenal’s main striker for years, but the fans have clamored for an elite option to lead the line for almost as long. Alexandre Lacazette moved to the Emirates Stadium this summer and found the net less than two minutes into his Premier League debut.