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Olivier Giroud Should Leave Chelsea in January, Says France's Didier Deschamps

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Olivier Giroud of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on November 30, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

France manager Didier Deschamps has suggested Olivier Giroud should leave Chelsea in January in order to keep his place in the national side.

Giroud has played just seven times in all competitions for the Blues this season.

Per Goal's Robin Bairner, looking ahead to his selection for UEFA Euro 2020, Deschamps said of the striker:

"Giroud, like others, may have to move. His situation at Chelsea hasn't changed in two months.

"It would be better for him, of course, to go to a club where he would get more playing time. If he can't get it at Chelsea, the idea is to get it elsewhere.

"It's his decision. I don't know what offers he has, where it might be possible for him to get more playing time.

"We saw each other not so long ago. As with every player, he's the one who decides. But keep in mind that it's the daily life of players with their clubs that leads to France selection. He knows it. It's up to him to decide the best solution for himself."

With the January transfer window approaching, the 33-year-old has been linked with a departure, with Inter Milan rumoured to be among his suitors:

B/R Football @brfootball

Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud is close to agreeing to personal terms with Inter, according to @lequipe ⚫🔵 https://t.co/WHdqV1MdgO

Lampard is yet to discuss with Giroud, whose contract expires at the end of the season, whether he'll be allowed to leave this winter, per Goal's Nizaar Kinsella:

Nizaar Kinsella @NizaarKinsella

Lampard on possible player sales like Giroud: "All the players who are here, I won't have any talks until January." #CFC

Inter are managed by Antonio Conte, who signed Giroud for Chelsea from Arsenal in January last year.

The Frenchman played 18 games for the Italian, starting 10 of them. In that time, he scored five goals and contributed two assists.

Last season he made 45 appearances for Maurizio Sarri, of which 21 were starts, and he returned 13 goals and 10 assists.

Incumbent Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has made Tammy Abraham his first-choice centre-forward this season, and Giroud has also faced competition from Michy Batshuayi in his back-up role at Stamford Bridge.

As a result, he has spent just 282 minutes on the pitch for the Blues, scoring once. On eight occasions, he hasn't even made it onto Chelsea's bench.

Having been a key part of their FIFA World Cup-winning team last year, Giroud has continued to make the France squad. He's played in all six of their games this season, scoring four goals.

However, it will be hard for Deschamps to justify his continued selection or for him to play at Euro 2020 if he's not featuring regularly at club level. It will also be hard for him to remain sharp while spending so much time on the sidelines.

France have been drawn in a group with reigning European champions Portugal—who beat them in the Euro 2016 final—and 2014 World Cup winners Germany, so they can ill afford to field rusty or out-of-form players in that tournament.

If Abraham stays fit it's clear Giroud won't be getting regular football at Stamford Bridge, so he may have to heed Deschamps' advice if Chelsea permit him to move on.