Last season always felt like it would be Olivier Giroud’s last at Chelsea, and indeed, it proved to be just that. Not even a surprise contract extension could change the course of events, with the 34-year-old striker still joining AC Milan, though for a token transfer fee instead of a free transfer.
Despite the extension, Giroud’s mind had been made up to leave for a while, as he revealed in an interview with Telefoot over the weekend.
“I liked the Premier League, but at some point, I had to make a decision. I told Tuchel that the last three months had been too difficult.
“It was an obvious choice to leave Chelsea, I moved on with great emotion for all the moments we lived. Some were good, some others not as much, but we won three important titles.”
While Giroud started Tuchel’s first match in charge, he was quickly reduced to bench duty, making just 1 start in our final 21 matches in all competitions. He did score 11 goals for the season and his contributions to our Champions League campaign certainly made a big difference (including the four-spot against Sevilla and the bicycle kick against Atlético), but it was more than understandable that he’d want to find some place where he would be more involved. No time to waste as his age!
Giroud’s had a decent start to his Milan career, scoring twice in four appearances, despite missing a month after testing positive for COVID-19 and then dealing with a back injury. He returned over the weekend, playing the first half of Milan’s 2-1 win over Spezia. The win moved the unbeaten Rossoneri up to second in the table as they chase Napoli for early Serie A lead.
Oli’s hoping to add that trophy to his personal collection while collecting 15 goals as well.
“Zlatan is a legend and there will be a real competition between us. I can score at least 15 goals, that’s what I hope. If I play every game, that’s what I expect.
“I hope [we can win the Scudetto], we have the quality and young players. It’s a clear target we have.”
-Olivier Giroud; source: Telefoot via Football-Italia
Milan have also added Fikayo Tomori and Tiémoué Bakayoko from Chelsea this summer, so hopefully they can bring home the title for the first time in a decade.