Olivier Giroud explains decision to extend Chelsea stay
Giroud completed a surprise move to Chelsea from Arsenal back in January 2018, and has since scored 21 goals in 76 outings for the club across all competitions.
The World Cup winner played a key role in the Blues’ run to glory in the Europa League last season, but fell down the squad pecking order after Lampard was drafted in to replace Maurizio Sarri in the Stamford Bridge hot seat.
Tammy Abraham has served as Chelsea’s first-choice centre-forward throughout the 2019-20 campaign, with Giroud restricted to just nine Premier League appearances in total.
The 33-year-old was tipped to leave the club in January amid interest from Inter and Lazio, after entering the final six months of his previous contract.
However, Chelsea ultimately retained Giroud’s services after failing to bring in a suitable replacement, and he enjoyed an impressive run of form after being restored to Lampard’s line-up before the coronavirus-enforced break in the season.
The France international was rewarded with a fresh one-year deal in May, and is now eager to get his hands on more silverware with a club that have provided him and his family with a “great setup”.
Asked what inspired his turnaround in fortunes at the Bridge, Giroud told Chelsea’s official website: “I simply seized my opportunity and I repaid the faith that the manager had shown in me.
“That’s why the club ultimately offered me the chance to continue my time at Chelsea and I accepted immediately because I like it here. I want to keep winning trophies and I want to continue to show the manager that he can count on me.
“Plus, with the whole coronavirus lockdown situation, I didn’t really feel comfortable with the idea of moving abroad and uprooting my family. I think a lot about our quality of life and we have a great setup here. I think a lot about my family now.”
Giroud went on the reveal just how close he came to leaving Chelsea in the winter transfer window, adding: “I was supposed to leave in the January transfer window because I wasn’t playing much and I needed more game time to make the France squad for Euro 2020. I very nearly left the club but I really think that God wanted me to stay at Chelsea.
“The manager told me that he couldn’t let me leave because he didn’t have anyone to replace me. Everyone knows what happened so I won’t go back over it but the coach spoke to me privately and told me that he’d give more games.
“He kept his word and what then mattered to me was proving to him that he could count on me when I was called upon.”