Ronald Koeman has revealed that he had Olivier Giroud “in the building” at Everton but the Frenchman international decided against a move at the very last minute.
The Toffees lost Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United in the summer for around £90million and the club failed to find a suitable replacement for the striker, who scored 25 goals in all competitions in 2016/17.
And Koeman was sacked on Monday following Everton’s poor start to the new Premier League season that sees them sitting in 18th position in the league table.
The Dutchman thinks the club’s mistake of spending £140million this summer without bringing in a Lukaku-type striker sealed his fate at Goodison Park.
“I had Olivier Giroud in the building,” Koeman told Dutch football magazine VI.
“He would have fitted perfectly but, at the very last moment, he decided that he’d rather live in London and stay at Arsenal.
“That was really hard to swallow. You tell me, where you can get a better striker?
“Lukaku was so important for us, not just because of his goals. If things were not going well in a game, if we could not play the way we were used to, there was always the option to use the long ball towards him.
“All of a sudden, we were missing such a player. With Nikola Vlasic and Wayne Rooney, we had attackers who want the ball at their feet.”