Olivier Giroud, ?France’s match-winner on Friday against Iceland in their Euro 2020 qualifier as well as their only goalscorer against Turkey, is absolutely lethal for Les Bleus, and has been for years.
Sitting third among the nation’s all-time top goalscorers, the 33-year-old has been unable to replicate this form since his move from Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge.
The faith shown to him by France boss Didier Deschamps is the faith Frank Lampard must reciprocate, as clearly Giroud is still good enough to produce the goods. Unfortunately for him, Lampard only plays one striker up top, which this season has been Tammy Abraham, who has averaged a goal every 72 minutes and sits joint top scorer in the Premier League with Sergio Aguero.
Giroud has had one the most underrated careers of anyone in recent memory, being absolutely vital in Montpellier’s Ligue 1 winning team in 2011 as he scored 21 goals, ultimately securing a move to ?Arsenal.
As well as this, the 33-year-old is a European Championship finalist and a World Cup winner, yet more faith has been shown to the likes of Alvaro Morata and Gonzalo Higuain, who certainly didn’t hit purple patches during their respective stints at ?Chelsea.
Speaking to French publication Le Pelerin about whether Giroud accepts his situation at the club, Giroud replied: “Accept it? No. I do not accept it.”
However, he then continued: “You do not have to be fatalistic in certain situations. I have always been respectful and humble.
“Even if I do not agree with the coach, I do not criticise him. But in myself, I cannot accept it because I know what I’m worth on a pitch.
“Last year, when I felt I deserved to play, I asked the coach for explanations.”
It would be a crime to drop Abraham in his current form, but recently Michy Batshuayi has been making match-day squads ahead of Giroud, with the Frenchman’s last appearance being a 17 minute cameo against Valencia in the Champions League.
You don’t score 38 goals for France unless you’re decent, and many fans would agree in saying that Giroud would be a far better option off the bench than the likes of Pedro and Ross Barkley when Chelsea need a goal.
What Chelsea absolutely must not do is forget the option they have with Giroud and allow him to leave. He has shown his predatory striking instincts on so many occasions in the past and, as highlighted by his consistent impressive form for France, he’s still capable of producing at the highest level.
Abraham is a young player and has shown during the opening weeks of the season that he can lead the line ably for this young Blues side, but there will likely come a point in the season where he goes through a sticky run of form – that’s where Chelsea can look to offer Giroud a more regular spot in the team.
He may be coming towards the end of his career, but Giroud is still as good an option as any, and should still be playing an important role in a new-look Chelsea team under Lampard.