Arsene Wenger has claimed that 'Arsenal man' Olivier Giroud only left to join Chelsea to boost his World Cup hopes.
The veteran Gunners boss was quoted by the Metro newspaper as he outlined his decision to let his French compatriot leave the Emirates in the January transfer window.
Giroud completed a move across London to join the reigning Premier League champions in a bid to earn more regular first-team football to give his chances of going to this summer's international tournament with Les Bleus.
Bizarrely, however, the striker has had to settle for a place on the bench more often than not at Stamford Bridge - a factor which makes Wenger's comments seem a bit strange.
Nevertheless, Wenger insisted he had to let Giroud depart to give him an opportunity to stake his claim for a place in Didier Deschamps' France squad and also that Everton-bound Theo Walcott was in the same boat.
He said: "Olivier is an Arsenal man as well. He left for similar reasons to Theo Walcott, by being sad to leave but also objective enough to analyse his situation.
We wanted him to stay!! Rather sell welbeck and iwobi and Wenger then sell giroud— ben england (@bensengland) March 21, 2018
"His professional career demanded that he moved, but his heart wanted him to stay. Both Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud are similar cases on that front."
Walcott moved to Goodison Park two months ago as well as he sought more minutes after becoming frustrated with life in north London.
And Wenger added that the forward needed game time if he was to make a late push for the England squad ahead of the World Cup in Russia and admitted that it was a sad day to see the ex-Southampton wonderkid depart for pastures new.
(You may also be interested in Jack Wilshere Gives Arsenal One More Chance to Up Contract Offer Amid Everton & West Ham Interest)
He said: "It was just because he wanted to play and wanted to give himself a chance because he didn’t get enough games here.
"Today, people are informed and you don’t fool them. Theo is experienced, is a real Arsenal lover and is a guy who always respected the fans and the club. It was completely justified and I’m very happy that he got a great reception."