Olivier Giroud is prepared to push to leave Chelsea in January unless the amount of his game-time increases very soon, according to Simon Johnson of The Athletic.
The 34-year-old striker left Arsenal in January 2018 for this very reason, believing he deserved to be starting far more often that he was. His luck didn’t change at Chelsea and he’s still performing the role of a backup.
Giroud started every single Premier League game so far on the bench, coming on as a substitute three times and sitting a whole match out five times. That’s quite a step down from starting 10 of Chelsea’s last 12 league games in 2019/20, when his contribution was vital in their successful quest for a top four finish. But after the arrival of Timo Werner this summer, things look very different.
It seems the issue reached a point where he is in danger of losing his place in the France squad, and with next year’s European championship on the horizon, he isn’t prepared to let that happen.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of France’s Nations League match against Sweden tonight (Tuesday), coach Didier Deschamps said Giroud was aware of the situation and made it clear something would have to change for him before March, when France begin their World Cup qualifying campaign.
Chelsea managed to dissuade Giroud from leaving in the last two transfer windows, but the only reason he agreed to shelve his transfer plans was the postponement of the tournament originally scheduled for the summer of 2020, and this time they are likely to find that task far more difficult. With his contract expiring at the end of the season too, they might be tempted to submit to his demands in January in order to receive a fee for his services.