Koscielny convinced me to join Arsenal, says £13m Giroud

FRANCE forward Olivier Giroud has told how international colleague Laurent Koscielny talked him into joining Arsenal, after completing his £13m transfer from Montpellier yesterday.

Giroud, who topped the scoring charts and won the French top-flight title last season, discussed a possible move to north London with Gunners centre-back Koscielny while together at Euro 2012 this month.

“We talked a lot,” said the 25-year-old. “I asked him about life, the club and the environment of the club. We talked about English football because I’ve wanted to play here since I was a kid. It was my dream to play in the Premier League so Arsenal was ideal for me and Laurent told me it was a good choice.”

Giroud, who only made substitute appearances during France’s European Championship campaign, which ended with a quarter-final defeat to Spain on Saturday, is Arsenal’s second major summer signing after versatile Germany forward Lukas Podolski, an £11m arrival from Cologne.

“Arsenal is a big English team that is well known in France,” added Giroud, who idolised Gunners record scorer Thierry Henry. “There are lots of French players who were a success here like Henry, [Sylvain] Wiltord, [Robert] Pires and many others.”