Giroud to wear Jersey No. 18 at Chelsea

Giroud to wear Jersey No. 18 at Chelsea

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Chelsea have reinforced their attacking line with the signing of French striker Olivier Giroud from Arsenal FC on an 18-month contract, the English Premier League club confirmed on Wednesday.

“Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League,” the 31-year-old, who will wear jersey No. 18, said.

“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.”

Giroud has found it difficult to cement a place in the Arsenal starting line-up this season, with manager Arsene Wenger preferring to start Alexandre Lacazette as a lone striker.

Giroud has made 16 appearances in the league, with 15 of them coming as a substitute.

He joined Arsenal from French side Montpellier in 2012 and his goal tally has hit double figures in each of his last five seasons.

As the Frenchman moved to Chelsea, striker Michy Batshuayi departed to Borussia Dortmund on loan until the end of the season.

Belgium international Batshuayi made 53 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions since joining the club from Olympique de Marseille in July 2016, scoring 19 goals.

The 24-year-old, who represented his country at Euro 2016, hopes regular first-team action will help his chances of featuring more prominently at this year’s World Cup in Russia.

“In order to achieve my big objective, I want to play as much as possible and score many goals. The World Cup is taking place in the summer,” he said in a statement.

Batshuayi, who has scored 10 goals in all competitions this season, took advantage of a rare start to score twice as Chelsea eased past Newcastle United 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup last weekend.

The German side will hope Batshuayi can fill the boots of the prolific Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, after the Gabon striker earlier completed a switch to Arsenal.

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