France international Olivier Giroud feels he needs a bigger role at Chelsea if he is to remain at the club for another year.
The former Arsenal striker has cut a very frustrated figure this season at Stamford Bridge admitting he is ‘not happy’ playing the back-up role on several occasions – although he did start, score and assist two goals within the first half-hour of Thursday’s Europa League game with Slavia Prague.
Will Giroud stay at Chelsea? Five key things to know…
- Giroud joined Chelsea from Arsenal in January 2018.
- The World Cup winner is out of contract this summer.
- The striker has started just seven Premier League games this season.
- He has admitted to being unhappy with his current role on several occasions.
- Chelsea, who face a two-window transfer ban, are due to hold talks with Giroud this summer.
With Chelsea facing a potential transfer embargo, it may transpire that they are not allowed to sign new players this summer. If that is the case, they will be highly likely to offer Giroud a new deal.
Only five players have scored 10+ goals in a single Europa League campaign since the competition's inception in 2009/10:
✓ Radamel Falcao x 2
✓ Giuseppe Rossi
✓ Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
✓ Aritz Aduriz
✓ Olivier Giroud
Welcome to the club, Olivier. pic.twitter.com/HOqgmZvRHs
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 18, 2019
His goal against Slavia Prague makes him his current club’s first player to score 10 or more goals within a single season of European competition.
But the man himself insists he needs to be kept happy in terms of playing time in order to stay at Chelsea.
Having started just seven games this season, the World Cup winner says playing second fiddle to Alvaro Morata, at first, and then Gonzalo Higuain has made him “unhappy” in west London.
Speaking ahead of the 4-3 win over Slavia Prague on Thursday, Giroud said: “Trust me, I am very frustrated when I am not on the pitch, but I don’t want to show it.
“You need to keep that frustration and transform it into positive energy. Trust me, I’m not happy to play the second role.
“Next year I will need to have a more important role to play. The most important thing for me is to be happy on the pitch, to enjoy the game and to have more minutes.
“I’m a competitor. I really want to play more. The thing is, I just want to enjoy it, because I’m 32 and I’ve won the World Cup, but I want to retire satisfied.”
The Frenchman added that he has received offers from other clubs but was not prepared to elaborate further, simply saying: “Yes [I have received offers from other clubs] but I cannot tell you yet. I am focused on Chelsea.”
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Chelsea have were handed a two-window transfer embargo by Fifa for purchases of players under the age of 18, but they have already lodged an appeal and could take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
This could further delay the outcome of any punishment but the situation is still unclear at present, making it hard for the club to provide Giroud with clarity over his future.
“I have to meet Marina [Granovskaia, club director], but obviously I might be here [next season],” Giroud continued.
“I don’t know, I have no clue about that now, but before the end of the season [he wants clarity].
“Obviously we still don’t know if the club will have the opportunity to sign players or not.
“Maybe it’s a bit confusing now. There is no reason that they are not going to give me one more year, but I need to be happy as well.”
Chelsea are in desperate need of a striker
Maurizio Sarri has often fielded Eden Hazard as a false nine this season, suggesting a lack of faith in his centre-forwards.
Since Diego Costa left the club in 2017, Chelsea have struggled to truly replace him.
Alvaro Morata was brought in from Juventus for a fee in the region of £60 million but unable to make the impact that many had hoped for. He bagged 16 goals in 47 Premier League appearances before being loaned to Atletico Madrid.
Gonzalo Higuain was signed more recently in January, this time on loan from Juve, but the 31-year-old has scored just three times in nine appearances so far.
If Giroud does leave then Chelsea will have to sign a replacement, if that is even a possibility, or face another top-four struggle next season.