It’s increasingly looking like Olivier Giroud’s surprise start against West Ham United, the first of our shocking run of three straight weekend defeats to relegation-threatened teams in the Premier League, will be the final Chelsea game for the veteran striker.
He has not even made the bench in the last three games, and with just 7 appearances all season (3 starts), the writing has been on the wall for some time. The only question that really remains is where next for the 33-year-old?
A reunion with former coach Antonio Conte at Inter Milan seems a logical choice, but Inter have reportedly balked at his initial contract demands and will already get some help in attack when Alexis Sánchez returns from injury next month. Recent rumors have claimed that Matteo Politano could be heading for the exit door however, which could open up a spot for Giroud. This weekend’s Gazzetta dello Sport (via CalcioMercato) maintain that while Giroud is “pushing for a move” though the Chelsea player Inter are apparently prioritizing at the moment is left back Marcos Alonso instead.
Giroud has also been linked with Atlético Madrid in recent weeks, and while they seem quite set on buying a striker this January, they’ve also been linked with the likes of Edinson Cavani, Rodrigo, and even Timo Werner.
That’s all speculative of course. What isn’t speculative is that Giroud needs minutes to ensure his place in the France squad for Euro 2020. National team boss Didier Deschamps has been extremely generous is sticking with his man who played a crucial role in winning the 2018 World Cup, but it’s going to be increasingly hard to keep including him if he continues to not play.
“Giroud, like others, may have to move. His situation at Chelsea hasn’t changed in two months. It would be better for him, of course, to go to a club where he would get more playing time. If he can’t get it at Chelsea, the idea is to get it elsewhere.
“It’s his decision. I don’t know what offers he has, where it might be possible for him to get more playing time. We saw each other not so long ago. As with every player, he’s the one who decides. But keep in mind that it’s the daily life of players with their clubs that leads to France selection. He knows it. It’s up to him to decide the best solution for himself.”
-Didier Deschamps; source: Mail
The message is clear. Giroud’s agent needs to get to work. And maybe start looking at places other than Inter and Atléti, where Giroud would be, at best, a backup behind big-money strikers once again.