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Football
France striker Giroud joins Arsenal
Oliver Giroud joins German striker Lukas Podolski at the Emirates as EPL side Arsenal bolster their attacking line-up.
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2012 11:55
Giroud was part of France's Euro 2012 squad which was knocked out by Spain in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 on Saturday [EPA]

Montpellier forward Olivier Giroud has agreed to join Arsenal on a long-term contract, the English Premier League club announced on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old France striker completed a medical before agreeing terms at the club's training ground on Monday evening. The completion of the transfer is now just the subject of "formal processes", according to Arsenal.

Giroud, whose contract with Arsenal will commence on July 1, told the club's website: "I am delighted to be here at Arsenal and to be part of one of the great teams in English football.

"It's a huge satisfaction to join this great club and it's been a dream since I was young to play in the Premier League."

Wenger fan

Giroud said the style of football Arsenal, who finished third in the English top-flight last season, play under French manager Arsene Wenger had been a major factor in his decision.

"I was attracted by the philosophy of football and Arsene Wenger's 'touch' at this club," he said.

"I have always admired Arsenal with its great history and reputation, and I now hope to achieve great things here. I'm very proud to be a Gunner and I will give my best for all the Arsenal fans."

Wenger said: "We are delighted to have secured the signing of Olivier Giroud. He has a very good physical presence and is exceptional in the air, with a great work ethic.

"We are excited about Olivier joining us and he will add an additional dimension to our attacking options next season."

Giroud arrives in north London from French champions Montpellier, where 21 goals in 36 league appearances made him the French league's joint top goalscorer last season and also earned him a place in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year.

Giroud, who enjoyed a two-year spell at the Stade de la Mosson and broke into the national team in November 2011, flew to London after representing France at Euro 2012 where they exited to Spain in the quarter-finals.

The Chambery-born player spent his formative years in France's lower leagues, developing his game with Grenoble and at Tours FC where he played alongside Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny for a season before being awarded the Ligue 2 Player of the Year award in 2009/10.

"He has proved that he is capable of performing at the top level with club and country, and we saw what a big influence he was in Montpellier's championship-winning side last season," said Wenger.

"We all look forward to Olivier joining us and seeing him play in an Arsenal shirt," Wenger added.

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Source:
AFP
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