Having become one of the most ‘will he, won’t he’ exits in the modern game, Olivier Giroud has been linked with the exit door at Chelsea since he arrived. Each summer has brought more questions about whether or not he should stick around, and whether Chelsea might look to move on from the silkiest target man in the modern game. However, without doubt, it now looks like Giroud will be the pusher for an exist. Having grown tired of sitting on the bench and desperate to make a likely last tournament with France, Giroud is desperate to get on the pitch and play.
Links across Europe exist, with the strongest links coming from Juventus, Internazionale, and Real Madrid. The trio of European royalty clubs are keen to bring in the Frenchman, seeing his style of play as the ideal fulcrum needed to combine the rest of their attacks. With Madrid now one forward short after loaning out Serbian striker Luka Jovic, though, we could see a pretty drastic change in their transfer plans.
Though the likes of Erling Haaland and Edouardo Camavinga remain key summer targets, Madrid want to bring in another forward now to bolster their ranks. For Giroud, though, it might mean simply walking back into the same situation he is at with Chelsea; being the ‘Plan B’ option when things are not working out. Given the need for regular gametime, there are concerns at Madrid that he might not be interested despite the prestige of the club and working with France legend Zinedine Zidane.
Can Chelsea do without Giroud?
For the Blues, though, the loss of one of their most intelligent and technically reliable attackers would be a blow. Despite giving ample chances to Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham, they have to produce with the same consistency as Giroud when given a chance to play. Also, given Giroud is a master of link-up play, can Chelsea force to lose a forward who can link together the variety of flighty attacking players they have?
The summer trio signing of Werner, Hakim Ziyech, and Kai Havertz give Chelsea the best ‘off-the-front’ attacking trio in the Premier League, one could argue. However, they need someone to make the space for them to play and to allow their tremendous off-the-ball movement to flourish. Giroud would be the ideal person to do that – can Chelsea, then, afford to get rid of him?
Seen as one of the most respected forwards in Europe, the suitors list is not going to be small for a France international who has proven himself lethal when given a chance. Few strikers in England have the same kind of promise of a consistent performance as Giroud; getting rid of a player with such pedigree would be an undoubted mistake on the part of Chelsea.
Having promised the forward more gametime for three transfer windows without delivering, though, it might be time for the Les Bleus striker to say adieu to London after all.