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Deschamps backs Giroud’s call for more playing time at Chelsea

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There’s more to him than Europa League goals

Dynamo Kyiv v Chelsea - UEFA Europa League Round of 16: Second Leg Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Olivier Giroud may be 32, but he’s far from done yet. Having recently reached double digits in goals for the 12th straight season, and then becoming France’s third best goalscorer in history with a goal against Moldova in their 4-1 win this week, Giroud continues to not fade gentle into that good night. In fact, he’s on a mission for more playing time and perhaps even a new contract from Chelsea.

Unfortunately for him, Gonzalo Higuaín continues to enjoy Maurizio Sarri’s trust as the first-choice striker, which has left Giroud with just Europa League minutes. And while that hasn’t affected his standing with the national team, France head coach Didier Deschamps certainly wouldn’t mind seeing him play more at club level, too.

“Giroud is there, he scores goals. He does so too with his club. He’d like to play more and when he plays in the Europa League, he also scores goals. In a match like tonight’s, against a low-ranked opponent, his presence as a pivot is very useful. He’s quite complementary with the other players because of his role that is different and this allows our team to have a varied offensive play.”

-Didier Deschamps; source: Sky Sports

While Giroud’s averaging a goal every 75 minutes in Europe, he has just one goal in almost 700 in the Premier League — although only 6 of his 21 appearances, including just two since October, have been starts. Giroud of course contributes in ways other than just goals, too, as Deschamps often points out.

Chelsea have given no indication of wanting to re-sign Giroud for next season yet, but if the transfer ban stays in place, we could do worse than extending him for another year, to give us a fallback option if current loanees Michy Batshuayi or Tammy Abraham (the only two strikers under contract for next season) don’t make the grade.