Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has reiterated that he will not accept playing second fiddle for the Blues.
The Frenchman’s contract with Chelsea runs out at the end of the season and he has previously spoken about potentially leaving the club in the summer due to a lack of playing time.
Could Giroud leave Chelsea in the summer? Five key things to know…
- Giroud joined Chelsea in January 2018, on an 18-month deal which ends in the summer.
- The Frenchman has since played 52 times for the Blues, only 25 of which were starts.
- This season, Giroud has played second-choice striker to Alvaro Morata and now Gonzalo Higuain.
- But the forward has admitted he is growing frustrated with a perceived lack of competition for places.
- Since Higuain signed for Chelsea, Giroud has started just four games, all in the Europa League.
Giroud’s arrival at Stamford Bridge last January was meant to bring competition for Alvaro Morata, and the Frenchman had looked to be overtaking his Spanish team-mate to be Chelsea’s starting striker.
But with Sarri unhappy with both in his first season, Gonzalo Higuain was signed in January – a move which immediately saw Giroud dropped to bench and cup duties.
Speaking after Chelsea’s 5-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv in the Europa League, in which Giroud scored a hat-trick, he said: “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.”
And the Frenchman has since looked to make his stance clearer to Chelsea, and any potential suitors, hinting at a potential return to France.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
“Of course it is frustrating,” Giroud told reporters while on international duty with the French national team.
“Today, I feel like there is no competition since January.
“It is like that, I know that I will only play in the Europa League and I will try to do everything I can to be as effective and decisive as possible for the team.
“The future could be hectic this summer.
“I am not scared of going down a level to have more playing time. It could be that I end my career in France.”
Is Giroud being unfairly treated by Chelsea?
While Maurizio Sarri may feel Gonzalo Higuain is better equipped for Sarrismo, the Argentinian still appears to be struggling to adapt to English football.
The Argentinian has scored in just two of his nine starts across all competitions – both against teams in the relegation zone of the Premier League – netting a brace against Huddersfield Town and adding one goal at Fulham.
Meanwhile, Giroud has scored in seven of his 15 starts and is currently top scorer in the Europa League with nine goals.