Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has revealed he will not accept a peripheral role at the club, after helping them reach the Europa League quarter-finals.
The Frenchman scored a hat-trick in Chelsea’s 5-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv on Thursday, taking his tally of the season to 10 – nine of which have come in the Europa League.
Olivier Giroud’s situation: Five things to know
- Giroud joined Chelsea in January 2018, on an 18-month deal which ends in the summer.
- However, Chelsea do have an option to extend his contract by 12 months.
- The Frenchman has started just six Premier League games under Maurizio Sarri this season.
- Since the turn of the year, Giroud has played just 56 minutes in the Premier League.
- But Giroud has starred for Chelsea in the Europa League knockout stages, scoring five and assisting two goals in four games.
The 32-year-old, who joined Chelsea in January 2018, is currently playing second fiddle to Gonzalo Higuain having done the same with Alvaro Morata at the club.
But, when asked by reporters if he would accept a bit-part role, the World Cup winner said: “No. No chance, I’m a competitor.
“We don’t know about the future, who can say? We’ll see.
“I have been through many tough moments in my career. I just want to enjoy playing football winning the World Cup last summer.
“I want to play every single game and to be happy on the pitch but I am not picking the team.”
No player has scored more #UEL goals this season than Olivier Giroud.
Seven and counting. pic.twitter.com/vnC1rgtzhk
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 14, 2019
With that, most of Giroud’s football has come in the Europa League this season where he has excelled – standing as the competition’s top scorer with nine.
And while this may not be the competition he wants to be spearheading, he still understands the importance of it.
He added: “I play in the Europa League and I am happy to help the team to go through the stages, step by step. The target is clearly to win it. The Premier League is another thing.”
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Furthermore, despite being 32 years old, he still believes he has something to offer on the big stage both for club and country.
“I’m 32 but I’m still young,” he said.
“I feel very good physically and I have the motivation to carry on.
“Some of the boys asked me why I didn’t retire with the national team after the World Cup but I’m still hungry and I know how much I will miss football after my career.
“I want more and more. I think I have a few good years in front of me.”
Chelsea’s striking options
When it comes to Chelsea strikers, there aren’t many to pick from and that could be the case for the next few years. Chelsea recently had their request to delay a transfer ban while an appeal is lodged week rejected.
Currently, they have Gonzalo Higuain and Olivier Giroud leading the line, but both are over 30 years of age and their futures in doubt.
Should Giroud leave, it looks like it’ll be on a free transfer whereas Higuain will return to Juventus unless Chelsea are allowed to trigger the extension included within his loan deal.
Morata’s loan to Atletico Madrid lasts until next summer and it’s unlikely Batshuayi will be the club’s number one striker next season.
And with the club unable to sign players in the summer as it stands, Chelsea are at risk of taking a thin front line into next season. But this could force the club to look towards academy graduates like Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham to fill the gaps.