Chelsea Forward Olivier Giroud 'Not Happy' with Back-Up Role, Has Other Offers

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2019

COBHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 17: Olivier Giroud of Chelsea looks on during a Chelsea Press Conference at Stamford Bridge on April 17, 2019 in Cobham, England. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)
Harriet Lander/Getty Images

Olivier Giroud has said he will need to be assured of further game time if he is to remain at Chelsea into next season because he has offers from other clubs.

The Frenchman's contract with the Blues expires in the summer, but the club has an option to extend his deal by another year.

Giroud has been fantastic in the UEFA Europa League this term, netting nine goals in 10 appearances, and he will likely play against Slavia Prague on Thursday as Chelsea look to convert their 1-0 first leg lead into a semi-final spot.

However, his European form has not convinced manager Maurizio Sarri to give Giroud a bigger role in the Premier League.

The 32-year-old has started just seven times in the English top flight this term, and he is frustrated with his limited role at Stamford Bridge, per Chelsea's official website:

"I really want to play more. I'm not happy to play the second role. That's why I said next year I will need to have a more important role to play in the team. I have had offers from other clubs, but I cannot tell you [who]. My priority is Chelsea. With what I have achieved here, there is no reason they are not going to give one more year, but I want to be happy also.

"The most important thing for me is to enjoy the game, be happy on the pitch and to have more minutes. I am a competitor. Trust me, I am very frustrated when I'm not on the pitch, but I don't want to show it. When you are a competitor and you have been through difficulties through your career, you need to keep that frustration for you and transform it into positive energy on the pitch."

What is likely even more frustrating for Giroud is that he is not being kept out of the side by an in-form team-mate.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Gonzalo Higuain of Chelsea FC reacts during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on April 8, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Gonzalo Higuain was brought in on loan in January, and he has started nine Premier League games for Chelsea. But he has scored only three goals—two against Huddersfield Town on February 2 and one against Fulham on March 3.

Against Liverpool on Sunday, Sarri opted to start Eden Hazard as a false nine rather than Giroud or Higuain, a decision that proved ineffective:

Giroud does not feel the Italian manager is making life easy for his strikers, saying of Sarri's style:

"It's not one player, it's an offensive animation. Maybe we could be more dangerous with crosses or running in behind. It's not about the system sometimes, it's the philosophy and finishing with more players in the box. I was watching games in the Champions League and the Premier League and I think we have to improve in that way, and finish with more players in the box."

Giroud has the talent and experience to command a starting spot in a number of other top teams, and his form in the Europa League proves he can still be an effective finisher.

Given his performance level, Higuain is unlikely to be kept at Chelsea past the end of his loan period in the summer, potentially presenting an opportunity for Giroud to become the starting striker at Stamford Bridge.

But it seems clear that if he is not given assurances of more minutes next term, the former Arsenal man hopes to be on the move again.

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