Wantaway striker set for Chelsea stay


Frank Lampard has confirmed that Olivier Giroud will not be leaving Chelsea on deadline day after the club failed to sign a replacement.

France international Giroud had been expected to depart Chelsea this month, with a whole host of clubs having been interested, including Tottenham and Italian giants Lazio and Inter Milan, while the player himself reportedly rejected the opportunity to join Newcastle.

Giroud’s first-team opportunities at Stamford Bridge have certainly been limited this season, as he has only started three matches across all competitions, with his solitary goal coming against Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup back in August.

The experienced 33-year-old finds himself very much behind Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi in the pecking order under Lampard and Chelsea had been willing to let him leave this month, provided they were able to bring in a suitable replacement.

However, Lampard confirmed at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Leicester that Chelsea have failed in their attempts to land a new striker, which means Giroud will be going nowhere.

This could have huge ramifications for Giroud, not only over the remainder of the club season, but also when it comes to his chances of representing France at this summer’s European Championships.

France boss Didier Deschamps has previously suggested that Giroud should leave Chelsea if he wants to lead the line for the reigning world champions at the finals, with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Wissam Ben Yedder and Antoine Griezmann all viable options to take over as Les Bleus’ focal point.

With Abraham, who has returned to training following an ankle injury, the undoubted first-choice striker at Chelsea and Batshuayi the go to guy from the bench, it is difficult to see Giroud getting many opportunities to impress.

Indeed, the former Arsenal star has only started one match since August and that was in a disappointing home defeat to West Ham at the end of November.

Giroud will almost certainly leave Chelsea when his contract expires in the summer, but the damage may already have been done by then if he does miss out on a place in France’s Euro squad.

As for Chelsea, Lampard is clearly frustrated that he hasn’t been able to add to his squad this month, particularly after the club had their transfer ban lifted, but it remains to be seen whether it will have a detrimental effect on their hopes of securing a top-four finish come the end of the season.