By 90Min
August 12, 2017

The opening fixture of the 2017-18 Premier League season was a frantic encounter against Leicester City for Arsenal at the Emirates, a tie which the Gunners ultimately emerged victorious after a header from Olivier Giroud five minutes from time finalised a 4-3 win.

Coming off the bench to replace new signing Alexandre Lacazette, Giroud understands the difficulties he'll face if he's to outshine his fellow French teammate, although Arsene Wenger is ecstatic that the 'fantastic' 30-year-old opted to remain in north London rather than moving, insisting that it was a decision which gave him a sense of great 'relief'.

Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

An array of possible suitors including West Ham United, Everton and Ligue 1's Olympique de Marseille have supposedly sounded their interest in the striker this summer, although the speculation surrounding Giroud's future can now finally be put to bed after he definitively committed his future to the club.

Le Prof' - speaking in an interview via Arsenal's official website - began by saying that he actually never wanted the hitman to depart this summer as he knows how 'important' he is to the club's success.

“It’s fantastic (Giroud is fighting for his place). I must say I opened the door for him at some stage because I know that it’s important for him to play, but I don’t want him to go and in the end he decided to stay," he claimed.

“It was one of the days of recent weeks for me because I know how important he is, not only as a player, he is a fantastic player, but as well in the group. He has a big weight in the squad and it was a relief for me that he decided to stay.”

A swift, abrupt 'no' is what Wenger then promptly gave a reporter after he was questioned if Giroud could still pack his bags for pastures new during the current window.

The French boss proceeded to state: “No. It’s a determined no.” - a very assured, confident utterance from the experienced manager indeed, who would also be understandably chuffed with Giroud's winning impact from the bench.

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