Olivier Giroud has revealed that he did everything he could to leave Chelsea last January, saying that he was left disappointed that he could not find a new club.
The Frenchman has struggled for game-time under new manager Frank Lampard, featuring in just nine Premier League games this season.
Tammy Abraham has had a major breakthrough campaign for the Blues, establishing himself as the side’s starting striker. In a system where Chelsea prefer to operate with one up-front, there has been little time for Giroud to showcase his abilities.
Speaking with Telefoot (as translated by Sky Sports), the 33-year-old has opened up on the frustrating period: “To be honest, I saw myself playing elsewhere. I had six tough months, which is why I wanted a change of scene to get back to playing and enjoying myself on the pitch, so I tried to leave in January.”
Giroud was clearly desperate to leave Stamford Bridge, revealing he did everything in his own power to force the move.
He went on to say: “I did everything I could, but Chelsea didn’t want to let me leave because the condition in place was that they had to bring in a replacement. On 31 January, I still hoped that I would leave. I was very disappointed, but I’d say that by the following morning, I’d put that behind me.”
Sky Sports reported that Chelsea tried to sign Dembele in January, seeing a £34million bid rejected by Lyon, and it may well be that their failure to sign the Frenchman influenced Giroud’s situation.
Chelsea’s failure to sign a new forward may well have prevented the Giroud’s exit, as it would have been risky to finish the season without cover for Abraham.
Giroud has always been used to being a fringe player, but even for him, the lack of game time this season has clearly been a step too far. Despite stating that the transfer predicament is now ‘behind him’, this is a story that looks destined to reignite whenever the transfer window opens again.