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Jun 29, 2012

Giroud: I won't replace RVP

France striker Olivier Giroud has insisted that he is not arriving at Arsenal to be a replacement for Robin Van Persie.

Giroud, 25, transferred from Montpellier after top-scoring in France during the 2011-12 campaign, but believes he is arriving as a partner for the Dutchman.

The capture of Giroud and Germany forward Lukas Podolski by Arsenal this summer has only served to strengthen rumours that Van Persie could depart Emirates Stadium this summer.

However, Giroud told France Football: "I don't come to take the place of Van Persie. It would be stupid of me to think this. He had a great season. He scored 30 goals and he has a great credibility here. Van Persie, you can say he is left-footed, like me, but I am confident that we can play together."

It has been a fantastic year for Giroud, who won his first top-flight title in France before going on to play in Euro 2012, and he also revealed he has always wanted to play in England.

In the space of an incredible twelve months, Giroud scored 21 goals to fire Montpellier to a debut Ligue 1 title, made his France bow and signed with Arsenal, in what he describes as "a beautiful story".

He said: "It is incredible for me. To already be a champion in France [with Montpellier], then play for les Bleus, and now Arsenal. I repeat myself, but this is a beautiful story. When I was little boy, I wanted to play in the Premier League. My heart has always looked for Arsenal.

"I saw they had [Thierry] Henry, there were also [Patrick] Vieira and [Robert] Pires. A true French touch. I have always loved the philosophy of their game and the state of mind of this club. The French were very successful there and the quality of life in London is exceptional.

"Bayern were at one point interested. But with [Mario] Gomez, it would have been difficult for us to both play as we have somewhat similar styles and physique."

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