Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud, the elder statesman of the center forward group, has failed to feature in four consecutive games, and has not even been included in the matchday squad for the last two, against Liverpool over the weekend and last night, against Grimsby Town.
With rumors of a potential departure already popping up — a reunion with Antonio Conte at Inter, to back up Romelu Lukaku is certainly not an outrageous idea with Giroud only signed through the end of the season — speculation of the French national team’s World Cup-winning center forward being in Lampard’s youth revolution doghouse weren’t too far behind.
As it turns out, there’s a much more benign explanation. Giroud has simply been ill.
Lampard himself confirmed the status in his post-match comments, while also praising Michy Batshuayi, who’s been pulling in the backup minutes in Giroud’d stead and rewarded that faith with a couple goals and an assist against cupcakes Grimsby Town.
“He has been ill. It took him out of Liverpool and still recovering. Michy has trained well and made an impact. It’s great for me. He can hold the ball up and he is important for us. Training is the minimum.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Metro
Presumably, Giroud will return to contention soon enough. He provides a supporting role that others can’t (yet) do with the same consistency and excellence in attack.