Asked how close he came to leaving Arsenal, Giroud told reporters at the club's training base north of London: "Actually that's a very private decision because it's true that I was close to leaving the club because I said that I wanted to play. "But after a big reflection with everybody around me, like my family and my close friends, I (decided I) wanted to stay at Arsenal and I thought the story was not over, (not) finished at Arsenal.
'Our story is not finished' Giroud explains why he rejected the chance to move away. https://t.co/pqSpgbFqJN— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) September 13, 2017
Wenger has always maintained his desire to keep Giroud -- who has 99 goals for the club -- at Arsenal and was full of praise for the striker on the eve of the Cologne clash. "I have said many times that his contribution has been huge," he said. "He has had a great evolution here and overall (his) contribution has been tremendous, and I think he has shown a very loyal spirit and has a high respect from everybody inside the club, as well as (from) our fans."
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud explains why he didn't join Evertonhttps://t.co/bHmVVDaTZc— Everton FC News (@LivEchoEFC) September 13, 2017
Arsene Wenger on Olivier Giroud: "I have said many times that his contribution has been huge. He has had a great evolution here." pic.twitter.com/6FlWWjGLeu— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) September 13, 2017