Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks to Henry, Giroud hails Conte

After a transfer triangle delivered both Arsenal and Chelsea the strikers they wanted, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set his sights on becoming the new Thierry Henry, while Olivier Giroud drew a line under a “beautiful story” at the Gunners, crediting his new coach Antonio Conte with attracting the Frenchman to Stamford Bridge.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks to Henry, Giroud hails Conte

Gabon striker Aubameyang completed his move to the Emirates Stadium from Borussia Dortmund yesterday morning for a club-record fee of €64million.

It was later confirmed that Michy Batshuayi would head to Dortmund on a loan deal from Chelsea, with Giroud arriving at Stamford Bridge on an 18-month contract, reportedly for a fee of around £18m. He will wear Chelsea’s number 18 shirt.

“Basically for me the most important thing has been talking with the coach Antonio Conte,” Giroud said. “I really feel like that he really wanted to work with me. Obviously, Chelsea is a massive club so it was a great opportunity for me to start a new adventure with Chelsea. I’m very proud to sign here.”

Giroud had posted a farewell to Arsenal fans on his Twitter account, writing: “This beautiful story ends.”

“It was five-and-half years at Arsenal,” he said last night. “Now I have a new challenge with Chelsea but I’m very pleased with what I achieved with Arsenal. Now I’ve got a new adventure with Chelsea and I really want to carry on in the Premier League and win as many trophies as I can. And help the team with their targets.

“Some people would say my mental strength [is one of my strengths] as I’ve been through some difficult periods of my career. Especially in England the last two years. When I came back from the Euros Cup [2016 European Championships] I did my best season. Basically, 2016 was very good for me and when I came back I’ve been injured and after the coach made some choices, so it’s part of football but I always try to keep the faith, work hard in training.”

Giroud had fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal behind compatriot Alexandre Lacazette and Danny Welbeck, with Aubameyang arriving yesterday to add more strike-power to Arsene Wenger’s attack after Alexis Sanchez departed for Manchester United.

Aubameyang’s arrival lifted spirits at the Emirates following the demoralising 3-1 defeat by Swansea on Tuesday night. He netted 98 goals in 144 Bundesliga games for Dortmund and now wants to emulate the Gunners’ leading goalscorer of all-time.

Aubameyang netted 98 goals in 144 Bundesliga games for Dortmund and now wants to emulate the Gunners’ leading goalscorer of all-time.

“I think the club has such a big history and great players like Thierry Henry,” Aubameyang said.

“He’s an example for us strikers because he was fast and scored a lot of goals.

“I think I have to work a lot to be like him, but I will do. I’m a fast player and I score too, like Henry a bit. But as I said, I have to work a lot more.”

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, meanwhile has signed a lucrative contract extension which will keep the World Cup winner at the club until 2021.

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