Olivier Giroud said his farewells to Arsenal on Wednesday after five and a half years at the Emirates. He has joined Chelsea for £18 million and for an initial 18 month period. Giroud scored 105 goals in 253 appearances for the Gunners. With limited started opportunities however Giroud needed more game time if he is to feature in the France squad for the World Cup in Moscow this summer. Arsene Wenger although unwilling to see his fellow countryman depart, nevertheless had to accept the wishes of his former player.

Giroud helped Arsenal to three Emirates FA Cups, scoring in the 4-0 win over Aston Villa in the 2015 final. He also scored the winning penalty – against Chelsea – in last year’s Community Shield victory at Wembley. Wenger said, “Oli is a guy who gave great service to the club, he never let us down on the commitment front and he saved us many times.

“We signed him from Montpellier and he became a strong, regular international player for France, and we have gone together through good and bad. But always I believe that his behaviour has been top, top class.

“He always had his heart 100 per cent in the team and he was committed.”

The big aerial threat of the strong man may have now diminished, but Giroud will always be thought of in a positve light at the Emirates.