Chelsea Football Club has today completed the signing of striker Olivier Giroud from Arsenal.
Giroud arrives with a wealth of experience and a proven pedigree at the highest level having scored goals regularly in the Premier League, in Europe and on the international stage, where he has represented France at three major tournaments.
A strong, physical forward, Giroud is lethal in the air and clinical with his feet in and around the penalty area.
The 31-year-old will wear the number 18 shirt and has signed an 18-month-contract.
Giroud said: ‘Chelsea is one of the biggest teams in the Premier League. They have won maybe the most trophies in the last six or seven years. It’s a massive club and I am proud to sign for Chelsea, and I’m looking forward to playing.’
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia added: ‘Olivier is a proven talent at the top level and we are very pleased to call him a Chelsea player.
‘He has scored goals regularly throughout his career and is well accustomed to English football and the Premier League. We are sure he will be a fantastic signing.’
Born in Chambery, Giroud grew up in the nearby village of Froges and after starting his career with his local club, joined Grenoble.
He made his first-team debut in March 2006 and scored his maiden senior goal, an injury-time winner against Le Havre, the following February.
Giroud spent the 2007/08 campaign on loan at Istres in the French third tier before moving to Ligue 2 club Tours on a permanent basis. There, he enjoyed a fruitful two-year spell, where he played – and scored – regularly, including all four of their goals in a 4-2 win over Arles-Avignon in 2009.
A number of Ligue 1 clubs began to show an interest in acquiring Giroud’s services, and he joined Montpellier in July 2010, making a goalscoring debu, in a Europa League qualifying match against Hungarian side Gyori ETO.
He enjoyed a solid first season with the club, but his second – and what would prove to be final – campaign could not have gone any better as Montpellier were crowned Ligue 1 champions, with the striker playing a pivotal role. After scoring in their opening two league matches, Giroud never looked back, netting hat-tricks in matches against Dijon and Sochaux as Montpellier won the French title for the first time in their history. He ended the campaign with 21 league goals and went on to sign for Arsenal that summer.
Giroud quickly adapted to the demands of English football, and has averaged close to a goal every other game in his five-and-a-half seasons with Arsenal, lifting the FA Cup three times, including in 2015 when he scored at Wembley against Aston Villa.
His best goalscoring return in a season at the Emirates came in 2015/16 when he found the net 24 times, including hat-tricks against Olympiakos, in the Champions League, and Villa.
Last season, the Frenchman scored an impressive 16 times despite starting just 17 games in all competitions, as well as winning the club’s Goal of the Season award for a magnificent ‘scorpion kick’ volley against Crystal Palace.
Giroud reached the 100-goal mark for Arsenal earlier this season when he scored from the penalty spot in a Europa League game against Bate Borisov, with his 105th – and final – strike for the club arriving in last month’s 1-1 draw at Southampton.
Giroud has been involved regularly with the France national team since making his debut in 2011, appearing at two European Championships and the 2014 World Cup, in which he opened the scoring as France beat Switzerland 5-2.
He joins compatriots N’Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko in the Chelsea squad, and he is eligible to play in all three competitions for the Blues.
Source: Chelsea Football Club');