Chelsea Open Initial Talks With French Striker Regarding A Extension: Should The Blues Keep Him?

Chelsea's English head coach Frank Lampard congratulates Chelsea's French striker Olivier Giroud as he leaves the pitch after being substituted off during the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on March 3, 2020. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Football.London, Premier League high-flyers Chelsea are said to have begun conducting preliminary negotiations with their World Cup winning French striker Olivier Giroud, about a potential contract extension at Stamford Bridge. The Frenchman came extremely close to a move away from West London during the January transfer window, but the Blues’ inability to sign a replacement in the market forced him to see out the campaign.

The report suggests that the French attacker’s contract at Stamford Bridge is set to expire at the end of the season and that former Blues’ coach Antonio Conte is keen on bringing him to Inter Milan in the Serie A. The Frenchman even expressed his willingness to stay on at Chelsea after their FA Cup win against Liverpool.

He said, “Of course. There are a few weeks to go, games to win and maybe another trophy. And, you know, I think I have two-three nice seasons in front of me. It’s not the time to talk about contracts. But I will take a decision when it comes.”

What Has Olivier Giroud’s Season Been Like At Chelsea?

The Frenchman started the season as the third-choice centre-forward, seemingly behind both Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi in the pecking order. As expected, Frank Lampard gave the experienced striker minimal playing time and instead preferred to rotate between Abraham and Batshuayi, with Giroud often seen warming the bench. Although things did seem to start on a positive note, the Blues’ apparent inability to find the back of the net from even the most comfortable of positions did begin to become a concern.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 08: Olivier Giroud of Chelsea reacts during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Everton FC at Stamford Bridge on March 08, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The injury to Tammy Abraham after the Christmas period is what forced Lampard to bring the Frenchman back into the setup. Although he put up a couple of questionable displays along the way, it must be conceded that the veteran striker’s presence up front did seem to change the general mood around Stamford Bridge. The former Arsenal man’s performances against Liverpool and Everton were exactly what this Chelsea team was missing in Abraham’s absence.

Should Chelsea Give Giroud An Extension?

The Blues have a contract policy wherein they only offer one-year extensions to any player above the age of 30. Although the Blues are likely to offer the same one-year extension, Giroud will likely be after at least a two-year deal. Moreover, the Frenchman’s contract discussions will take place with Marina Granovskaia and not Frank Lampard, which means that the conversations could be a lot more business-related than it is to football.

Olivier Giroud has proven with his exploits in the latter part of the season that he’s still got what it takes to be a capable Premier League striker. All the excellent work that Tammy Abraham did at the start of the campaign could’ve been completely undone in the second half if it wasn’t for the former Arsenal striker’s timely intervention. While there’s no denying that starting Giroud demands a specific style of football, the fact that the Frenchman is as efficient in front of goal as they come should be enough to motivate the Blues to offer him at least a one-year extension at Stamford Bridge.

Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.