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Olivier Giroud has once again decided to leave Chelsea in January — reports

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This time for real?

France v Sweden - UEFA Nations League Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images

As in 2019, so in 2020, Olivier Giroud is looking to leave Chelsea in January. History often repeats itself, after all.

As in 2019, so in 2020, Olivier Giroud has found gametime hard to come in the first half of the season. Last year, he was stuck behind Tammy Abraham and ... [checks notes] ... Michy Batshuayi?. This year, he’s stuck behind Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner, which is a lot more understandable, in fairness to the head coach.

As in 2019, so in 2020, Olivier Giroud has ambitions to play in Euro 2020 with France after the end of the club football season. The tournament may still be called Euro 2020, but it’s now taking place in 2021 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As in 2019, so in 2020, Olivier Giroud is being urged to quit Chelsea by France head coach Didier Deschamps. Deschamps has retained ultimate faith in the veteran striker, but without regular playing time, that’s getting harder and harder to justify, even if Giroud is still scoring regularly for his country.

As in 2019, so in 2020, Olivier Giroud has reportedly put the wheels in motion for a January transfer. He’s far from being done at the top level of the game, and according to The Athletic and Téléfoot (via GFFN), he’s decided to head for the exit door.

The situation could change if Giroud were to suddenly get more playing time, but that seems extremely unlikely. And while a January transfer never materialized last year, and Lampard made good on the promise to give him more playing time (with Bathsuayi falling out of form and favor, and Abraham getting injured as well), that also seems unlikely to repeat this year. The consensus is that Giroud and Chelsea will (finally) part ways this winter.

Chelsea would probably prefer to not deplete numbers in the squad at such a crucial juncture of course. Losing Giroud would have greater impact than just losing a random backup, thanks to his leadership, his mentality, his attitude, and his utmost professionalism. And his goals, too. It’s unlikely that we would another third-choice striker as good as he still is.

But keeping him when there is reported interest from far and wide, including West Ham United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Olympique Marseille, Bordeaux and of course, Inter Milan, would surely result in a rather unhappy situation for all involved. It is perhaps time to let the man go, as a sign of respect for all that he has done for the club, and let him fulfill his personal goals elsewhere.

As in 2019, but NOT so in 2020, Olivier Giroud might actually leave Chelsea in January.