Arsenal signing Olivier Giroud is delighted to be joining close pal Laurent Koscielny at the Emirates.

One of Giroud's closest friends in football is Koscielny - who like the striker spent much of his French career in the lower divisions before earning a move to Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2010.

"Of course [he is an inspiration], we have had a similar path in our careers," Giroud told Arsenal Player. "I'm happy that he's here now and that I can join him, and it's a nice story because we were together at Tours four years ago, and we just missed out on getting promoted into Ligue 1.

"It was Montpellier who got promoted instead, and I joined them a few years later. It was there that I then exploded into Ligue 1 and then got into the French squad. Had they told me four years ago that I would be playing for Arsenal I would have signed right there and then!"

"Laurent and I have talked a lot [about Arsenal]. I asked him about life, the Club and the environment of the Club. We talked about English football because like I said I've wanted to play here since I was a kid.

"It was my dream to play in the Premier League so Arsenal was ideal for me and Laurent told me it was a good choice."