According to rumours in the transfer market, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is willing to let Olivier Giroud leave the club this January. Under Lampard, Giroud has become a bench-warmer at Chelsea, with the coach trusting his younger players.
Giroud, at 34, has endured a lack of game time since last season as he has fallen down the pecking order at the club. Offloading Giroud may seem like a logical move for the Blues’ administrators, given the availability of two other strikers - Timo Wener and Tammy Abraham.
The French international is entering the twilight years of his career and retaining his services at this age may not hold well in the long run. However, given the torrid performances of Werner and Abraham, retaining Giroud is a must for Chelsea.
Despite coming off the bench in most of his appearances, Giroud has often proved to be a spark for the Chelsea attack - contributing vital match-winning goals. Starting in just four matches so far this season, Giroud has netted three goals in the Premier League.
Giroud was responsible for the four points Chelsea picked up against Wolves and Aston Villa. He also netted a goal in the 3-0 win against Leeds after coming off the bench. Giroud also took center-stage as he slammed four goals in the 4-0 rout against Sevilla in the Champions League, where the Blues fielded a weak line-up.
The Frenchman's positional attributes are hard to deny. Despite possessing two versatile strikers in their ranks, Chelsea have an excellent target man in Giroud. While Lampard has asserted that his team wants to play possession-based fluid football, Chelsea has been nowhere close to achieving this.
In the game against Manchester City, the Blues relied heavily on long balls into the box to create goal-scoring chances. Neither Werner nor Mason Mount looked close to getting on the end of these crosses and Chelsea missed Giroud's services as a target man.
Apart from being a super-sub for Chelsea for the past two seasons, Giroud’s professionalism, amid limited game time, has been second to none. Just like captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Giroud is one of the leaders of the squad.
He was a key figure behind Chelsea getting to the FA Cup final last season and their top-four finish in the Premier League. Had it not been for his timely interventions against Norwich, Crystal Palace, and Tottenham last season, Chelsea would have dropped nine points and missed out on that fourth spot.
Giroud has been a silent leader for Chelsea in this difficult period of transition. Ever since Eden Hazard’s departure, he has come to the team's rescue time and time again.
It's important for Frank Lampard to keep Giroud at the club and give him more playing time. This will save Giroud’s international career for France ahead of the Euros and also put Chelsea back on track for a top-four finish.Published 06 Jan 2021, 15:58 IST