Olivier Giroud – Chelsea’s underrated gunman

It is all but confirmed that Olivier Giroud is at the sunset of his time at Chelsea. The Frenchman who’s on the verge of leaving the club in the January transfer window needs to be playing regular football in order to secure his place in the French squad for the upcoming 2021 Euros. A career laden with trophies including the FIFA World Cup, I am explaining why Olivier Giroud will always remain English football’s underrated gunman.

Even at 34, Olivier Giroud debatably remains the best target man in the world. A player whose first touch and linkup remains second to none, Giroud is a dream to play with for many explosive wingers in the world. A player who isn’t appreciated by many, he has come up a long way since his dream season at Montpelier.

After a slow start to his life at Arsenal, Giroud quickly became a fan favorite in North London. Even after many world-class performances at the club including THAT Puskas Award winning Scorpion-Kick against Crystal Palace, it was evident that Giroud might make way for fresh blood at Arsenal. The signatures of Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were an important catalyst for Giroud’s move to West London. Despite averaging about 14 Goals a season, Giroud remained underappreciated at Arsenal. Even in 2020, Giroud’s exceptional link-up is underrated by many.

Since Giroud’s transfer to Chelsea in the 2018 winter transfer window, he has been a clutch player for the club. While it is easy to forget his contributions in the FA Cup winning season, he consistently delivered during the Europa League for Chelsea. Giroud has earned rightful plaudits for his heroics in the Europa League campaign under Maurizio Sarri. Chelsea remained undefeated throughout the Europa campaign and the performances of Giroud, along with the likes of Hudson-Odoi and Loftus-Cheek deserve far more recognition.

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While Giroud might be criticized for his lack of goal-scoring boots in the World Cup, his aerial threat and his ability create spaces for his team mates helped the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Antoinne Griezmann be fierce in front of goal throughout the campaign. The fact that Giroud did not have a single shot on target throughout the World Cup surprises many, including myself. However, Giroud remains one of the great examples why stats don’t always matter in world football.

Giroud’s link-up with Eden Hazard was really beautiful to the eyes. Eden Hazard, who’s arguably the most talented player to ever play for Chelsea, hailed Giroud’s influence in the games. Hazard was probably the one player who benefited the most from Giroud’s signature, even calling him the best target man in the world.

Despite warming the bench in the current campaign, Giroud has remained an important mentor to our young players. An extremely dedicated individual coupled with great professionalism is what makes Olivier Giroud special at Chelsea Football Club. One might not rate him alongside other strikers such as Sergio Aguero, Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane, but Giroud has indeed been an underrated gem to have graced English Football.

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