Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is once again showing he is a very important player ... for France. Despite not being a regular at club level, he remains a force for the World Champions on the international stage.
After two goals in two games over the international break, the 32-year-old Giroud has now moved into third on the French national team’s all-time goalscoring charts (35 in 89), and continues to show that age is but a number. It may even be a strength for him at this point, as he puts his vast experience to good use on and off the pitch.
Still, his situation at Chelsea is far from ideal, with an expiring contract and no contract extension in sight, not to mention having to play second fiddle to Sarri-favorite Gonzalo Higuaín, who has done little to dispel the suspicion that he just might be washed up at this point.
Things could however improve for Giroud in the near future, especially if Chelsea cannot wriggle out from underneath the FIFA-imposed transfer ban for this summer. Unlike Higuaín, Giroud could extend his contract safely — and could yet become the “safest” option for Chelsea at striker alongside young Tammy Abraham and Twitter-god Michy Batshuayi.
“At the club we still need to wait to see regarding if we will have the opportunity to get some players [in the next transfer windows]. If not the club will be blocked and maybe then they will need me more and to offer me something. I am very happy there, but it all depends on a few things so we will see.”
Giroud has been increasingly linked with a return to France and specifically Olympique Lyonnais at the end of the season — some going even as far as claiming that Lyon president Jean-Michael Aulas has convinced him — but his preference to stay at Chelsea seems pretty clear.
“The French media have made too much of some comments from me trying to push me into a move to Lyon. I am staying objective, and if I can stay at Chelsea I will be happy – but I need to play more.
“For now we have a very big game against Cardiff now at the weekend. There are only eight matches to go, and going for the Champions League places we will be trying to win all of them.”
-Olivier Giroud; source: Mail
Giroud’s hardly alone in looking for more playing time, and unlike some of the younger players in this situation, he doesn’t exactly have much time left in his career to just keep waiting. To his credit, he’s been nothing but the ultimate professional since arriving at Chelsea 14 months ago, even when other, ultimately more inferior options were preferred ahead of him. He might deserve a contract extension just for that!