Olivier Giroud has wasted no time in making his presence felt at Chelsea Football Club after joining on the last day of the January transfer window. He’s played in both games since — certainly a rarity already given Antonio Conte’s propensity for integrating new players very slowly — even starting yesterday’s prime time clash against West Bromwich Albion. Much like in his debut against Watford, Giroud provided an excellent ‘refernce’ point for the Chelsea attack, something that had been sorely lacking during Morata’s absence.
Afterwards, the 31-year-old reflected on his decision to trade Arsenal red for Chelsea blue and the challenges that thus await him.
“As a football player you need to move on and be ready the first day at your new club. It’s a new challenge for me. It was special for me to leave Arsenal because I had five amazing years there. But right now is a new chapter of my career and I’m focused 100 per cent on reaching our targets. I am very happy to be here at Chelsea.”
“I received a nice welcome and I was very happy with that. I know people support us and support me. I will try to repay them on the pitch. When you wear the shirt, people want you to give the maximum.”
“I know I will have to be efficient, scoring and assisting sometimes. Obviously we don’t have too much time to integrate. But I feel very good and the players have been very good to me.”
Giroud’s start on Monday was just the second for him in the Premier League this season, as he’s battled a few injuries while also being glued to the Arsenal bench previously. His match fitness is not yet great understandably, but it should improve ... provided he doesn’t get kicked back into last century first.
“I couldn’t play all the game because of my physical form. I also had pain in my calf and I was limping.”
“When they put five stitches in my head at half-time [because of the Hegazi challenge], I told them I wanted to carry on. But the calf was very painful so I couldn’t stay on for the whole game. I hope I can recover.”
While Giroud may ostensibly be just the backup striker at Chelsea as well, exactly like at Arsenal, Conte does like to play with a target man and could this give a fair few minutes to the French international.
“Will I get more of a chance to play here? Yes, obviously that’s why I needed to move. Chelsea was the perfect team for me, the perfect club.”
“I’m still playing in the Premier League and for the club that has won the most titles [along with Manchester United] in the past 13 years. It’s a massive club and I’m very proud to be here.”
-Olivier Giroud; Source: Evening Standard