Chelsea: Why Olivier Giroud is one of the Blues’ most important players this season
Olivier Giroud may not be every Chelsea fan’s idea of the quintessential striker but he sure is effective at what he does.
Under Maurizio Sarri this season, the Frenchman has had to make do with a bit-part role and although his contract expires in June, Chelsea are keen to retain his services.
Even Eden Hazard, a midfielder, has been preferred in the striking role ahead of the former Arsenal man.
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However, he was recalled to the starting XI for the match against Brighton at Stamford Bridge and opened the scoring minutes before half-time.
It was only his second Premier League goal of the season, his first coming against Tottenham back in November and recent figures back up his claims for a more regular role in the team.
According to reddit.com, Chelsea have found the net more often per minute when he has featured.
The World Cup winner has played 789 minutes of football in the top-flight this season and Chelsea have scored 23 times, making it a goal every 34.3 minutes.
In that time, he has played 90 minutes just twice and started just seven league games.
But, without him, the Blues have hit the back of the net 31 times in 2091 minutes, which equates to a goal every 67.4 minutes, numbers which suggest Chelsea are actually better when he is playing.
It’s not too surprising either. Giroud has carved out a reputation as being more than just goals.
His failure to score last summer at the World Cup in Russia did little to hamper France, with his physical presence and link-up play considered key factors in helping them to win the tournament for a second time.
International boss Didier Deschamps knows he needs the forward to facilitate the performances of Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe.
Back in September, Giroud had one of his best games in a Chelsea shirt and while he did not get on the score-sheet that day against Cardiff, he did assist two for Hazard, who netted a hat-trick in a 4-1 win and the Belgian praised his team-mate.
“Olivier’s a target man, maybe the best in the world; I think so,” said Hazard.
“When he gets the ball he can hold the ball and we can go in deep with him, so for us it’s a pleasure to play with him.
Maybe Sarri doesn’t quite think so right now but we’d suggest he may be the right man to get the Blues a top four spot thanks to his all-round displays.
Source: SportsLatest TS