Olivier Giroud Says He Will 'Stick in There' at Chelsea Amid Exit Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2018

Chelsea's French striker Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Europa League group L football match between FC BATE Borisov and Chelsea FC in Borisov outside Minsk on November 8, 2018. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)        (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud has said he will "stick in there" at the club amid recent speculation regarding his future. 

The veteran striker's deal expires at Stamford Bridge at the end of the campaign, meaning he's free to speak to clubs overseas from January with the view to agreeing a pre-contract. 

Recently the France international has fallen behind Alvaro Morata in the pecking order under manager Maurizio Sarri, and at 32, he will be keen to get more football. Speaking to Telefoot (h/t Sky Sports News), Giroud said he is still hopeful he can get that at Chelsea and subsequently with France.

"Would I have to consider a departure to keep my place in the national team? I feel like it is as if we are where we were several months ago when I was being asked the same questions before the World Cup.

"Today I am calm, happy with this World Cup title. I don't need to put myself under more pressure than that. Of course, I am a competitor and I would like more playing time. But I am in a very big club, with very big players.

"I am going to fight and for the moment, it is not a question about seeking a departure. I am going to stick in there and do not expect me to give up."

France's forward Olivier Giroud (R) signs autographs before a training session in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines on November 12, 2018, as part of the team's preparation for the upcoming Nations League football match against the Netherlands and a friendly foot
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Giroud arrived at Chelsea from Arsenal in January 2018 and he quickly endeared himself to Blues supporters.

While he hasn't been the most prolific of forwards, he's scored some important goals—including a brilliant opener in the FA Cup semi-final against Southampton—and provided an excellent focal point up top, giving tremendous support to star man Eden Hazard.

Liam Twomey of ESPN FC commented on how well Giroud knits the play together in the final third:

Liam Twomey @liam_twomey

Brilliant lay-off from Giroud to set that up. There aren't too many pure No.9s in the world more intelligent when it comes to link-up play #cfc

Giroud brings presence, power and a dash of panache to the centre-forward position, although there are other areas of his game where he falls short up against someone like Morata.

The Frenchman has never been the most mobile and in 2018 his rate of goalscoring has dropped significantly. At the FIFA World Cup, he played a key role in France's triumph but still didn't net at the tournament, while he only got off the mark for the Blues in 2018-19 recently in the win over BATE Borisov.

Per Squawka Football, his first goal of the campaign had been a long time coming:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Oliver Giroud’s goal vs. BATE Borisov is his first club goal for: 187 days 14 matches 794 minutes of playing time A crucial opener in Belarus. https://t.co/Ho762uNqIH

Chelsea would surely love to have Giroud around for another season if he is content with being a rotation option, as he can make a big impact in games coming off the bench.

At this stage of his career, Giroud may want to be at a club where he is a much more valuable part of the attack, though. Given Morata's recent resurgence and the Frenchman's advancing years, it's tough to see Giroud's stock rising with Sarri between now and the end of the campaign.