Following the wild 4-3 win over Leicester City that opened the 2017/18 Premier League season, Arsene Wenger told the media that he gave Olivier Giroud the opportunity to leave Arsenal, but that the Frenchman “wants to stay.”
“I opened the door for him [to leave] at some stage,” Wenger told reporters at the post-match press conference, “because it’s important for him to play but I don’t want him to go. He wants to stay. It was one of the great days when he decided to stay.”
When pressed again if there’s still a chance Giroud could leave before the window closes, Wenger persisted with, “It is a determined no.”
The signing of Alexandre Lacazette and the presence of Danny Welbeck has seen Giroud lose his already shaky starting place on the team. Last year, Giroud started just 11 games, with Wenger preferring to use Alexis Sanchez at the head of the attack even with Welbeck injured.
On Friday, with Sanchez injured for the Premier League opener, Wenger started Welbeck and Lacazette up front but brought Giroud on with 67 minutes to go. The Frenchman scored with five minutes left in regulation to give Arsenal a 4-3 win.
Clearly Giroud still has a role to play on the Gunners squad, with Wenger calling it a “relief” that the 30-year-old striker chose to stay.