Frank Lampard says Olivier Giroud is very important to the Chelsea squad and has insisted the striker will play as the season goes on.
Giroud came close to leaving Chelsea in the previous winter transfer window. However, he eventually stayed put and signed a one-year contract extension.
He rewarded Lampard’s faith in him by finishing the season in fine form in front of goal. But any hopes of a more regular role this season were soon ended when Timo Werner arrived in the summer.
Werner’s arrival has pushed Giroud back down to third in the pecking order of strikers at Stamford Bridge. Tammy Abraham also remains ahead of him.
Therefore, with the Euros coming up next summer, he has been advised to secure a move away from Chelsea this January. While he remains in good form for France, his place in the national team could be at risk.
He has even recently admitted himself that he could look for a new home in January. The striker recently said he was in a “worrying” situation that leaves him with a decision to make.
Now, he has been given fresh hope that his wish will be granted. According to The Athletic, Chelsea will not stand in his way if he wishes to leave.
Lampard though addressed that talk on Monday.
“I do have plans to have Oli very important in our squad. He was a big member of our squad last year and I think he played a lot of games and made a lot of starts for us last year,” said the Blues boss.
“When you look at our games, he made a lot of league starts and I think he played a relative amount. He will always want to play more. He is a huge member of the squad for me and I know he will be important for us going forward.
“I want Oli to stay here because he will play and I have a good relationship with Oli.
“If he ever felt that was going to go a different way then I am happy to have that conversation with him but I want him to stay here and we will be very open both ways if that ever changed, but at the minute, he is very important to me.
“I saw Oli’s agent’s quotes and I thought nothing of them in a bad way, because it’s normal. I know Oli very well and we can have a conversation.
“He wants to play, when he doesn’t play he’s an incredible support for the other players. He trains brilliantly no matter what, and we have really grown-up conversations.
“In January, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. My first thought always has to be the strength of our squad. I mentioned the December schedule, and I’ll be relying on top players in both of those games (against Arsenal and Villa).
“We’ll have to see how that one goes and I’ll always be honest with Oli, but I still think he’s got a big contribution for us. I know that, because I know how he is.
“I don’t want to get drawn at the end of November into conversations about what might happen in January, not just at the minute.”
Abraham praised by Lampard
Abraham lead the line against Newcastle on Saturday and scored in the 2-0 win.
“I am really pleased with him and he is playing really well at the minute. His all round game and off the ball work with link up play is good.
“I have to say, I think in some parts, it got slightly forgotten how good he was in the first half of last season because he was a massive plus for us and scored a lot of goals.
“He was a big reason at the time that we got a lot of results and finished fourth. A lot of individuals will take credit and Tammy should for the first half, the second half was more difficult for him.
“I think that is normal for a developing player because he is still relatively young. At the minute now, I am clearly seeing a mirror of how he trains and how he is.
“He is training brilliantly, he is enthusiastic which is when Tammy is at his best. I hope that continues.”