Premier League: Antonio Conte convinced Olivier Giroud to swap Arsenal for Chelsea

A talk with Antonio Conte and a desire to win trophies were behind Oliver Giroud’s decision to leave Arsenal for Chelsea.

football Updated: Feb 01, 2018 22:34 IST
By Joe Wright
By Joe Wright
Omnisport
Antonio Conte,Oliver Giroud,Chelsea F.C.
Olivier Giroud joined Chelsea from Arsenal for a reported fee of £18million. (Twitter )

New Chelsea FC signing Olivier Giroud says speaking with Antonio Conte helped to convince him to move to Stamford Bridge.

The France international moved from Arsenal FC to the Premier League champions on deadline day, signing an 18-month contract for a reported fee of £18million.

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Chelsea were linked with a host of names, including Peter Crouch, Ashley Barnes and Edin Dzeko, as Conte called for the arrival of a target man to complement club-record signing Alvaro Morata.

And Giroud, who won three FA Cups in nearly six years with the Gunners, says Conte’s eagerness to bring him across London was a key part of his decision to move.

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“The most important thing was talking with the coach, Antonio Conte,” he told the club’s official website. “I felt like he really wanted me and he really wanted to work with me.

“I wanted to sign for Chelsea and nowhere else. I really wanted to play more. I wanted to stay in the Premier League, and Chelsea for me is perfect because I can even stay in London.

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“But the first reason is the sporting challenge. That has always been my first priority. Everything is here for me to be happy.

“My ambition is to win some trophies. That’s why I am playing football. I am a competitor and I want to win again and again.

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“I want to score as many goals as I can to help the team to always reach our target and to be as decisive as I possibly can be.”

Giroud is excited to work for Conte having watched his animated approach to matches on the touchlines.

“I don’t know him very well but I like the positive energy he brings from the side of the pitch, always supporting his players, talking to them,” he said. “I think communication is massive in football and in all sports in general.

“For me, the relationship you have with the coach is very important. His tactical philosophy is very good because he is Italian. Chelsea is a strong team defensively and they are quite efficient up front with great players, so I think I will enjoy it.”

Giroud’s switch to Chelsea also gives him the chance to play Champions League football once more, with the Blues facing Barcelona in a daunting last-16 tie that begins this month.

“The Champions League is massive for a football player,” he said. “There is nothing above it when you’re playing for a club.

“There will be two nice games against Barcelona. We know their qualities and I think everybody will need to be 100 per cent to go through. It will be very exciting and I’m looking forward to it.”

First Published: Feb 01, 2018 22:34 IST