France striker Olivier Giroud to play in English Premier League for Arsenal
Chambery-born forward scored 21 goals in 36 league games for Montpellier last season
Giroud came on as a substitute three times for France during Euro 2012
Frenchman's previous clubs include Grenoble, Istres and Tours
Montpellier’s France international striker Olivier Giroud has agreed to join English Premier League club Arsenal.
Giroud, who passed a medical at Arsenal’s training ground on Monday, was a key player for Montpellier last season as the French club won Ligue 1 for the first time in their history, scoring 21 goals in 36 appearances.
The 25-year-old, who made three substitute appearances for France during Euro 2012, will officially join Arsenal on July 1 on a “long-term” contract though Arsenal did not disclose the length of the deal.
“We’re delighted to have secured the signing of Olivier Giroud,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told the club’s website.
“He has a very good physical presence and is exceptional in the air, with a great work ethic. We’re excited about Olivier joining us and he will add an additional dimension to our attacking options next season.
“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.
“We all look forward to Olivier joining us and seeing him play in an Arsenal shirt.”
Giroud has been at Montpellier for two years, having previously played for Grenoble, Istres and Tours, where he won the Ligue 2 Player of the Year award in 2009/10.
“I was attracted by the philosophy of football and Arsene Wenger’s ‘touch’ at this club,” said Giroud.
“I’ve 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.”
Giroud becomes Wenger’s second signing of the offseason, with Germany striker Lukas Podolski – currently preparing for Thursday’s Euro 2012 semifinal against Italy – also set to join the Emirates Stadium club from Cologne on July 1.