After just shy of one hundred appearances and thirty-six goals in all competitions, at the time of writing at least, Olivier Giroud’s time in London with Chelsea looks to be coming to an end. The former Montpellier and Arsenal top scorer was signed by Antonio Conte during his final year at the helm in January 2017, and has already played under three different managers during his time with the club.
Despite being seen as nothing more than a weight to leverage Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s move to Arsenal initially, Giroud has endeared himself to Chelsea fans during his time with the club and chipped in plenty of memorable moments. His sublime solo effort in the FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, eleven goals to take the Golden Boot in the 2018/19 Europa League triumph, to his beautiful half volley against Spurs at Stamford Bridge all stand out, helping to establish Giroud as one of the smartest and underrated forwards in the Premier League right now.
However, despite dethroning Tammy Abraham in the second half of the 2019/20 season, it looks like the introduction of the likes of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz has forced Frank Lampard’s hand and moved Olivier Giroud that little bit closer to the exit door.
It was a surprise to see him stay with the club during the summer transfer window, but the chances of him remaining a Chelsea player post-January looks pretty bleak right now. Here are some of the clubs that we could see the Frenchman joining up with in the next transfer window.
Undoubtedly the outstanding favourite club to pick for those betting on soccer and its exotic transfer markets, Inter Milan tick two boxes to justify the rumours that they’re planning a swoop for Giroud in January: they are in desperate need of a striker, and they love signing experienced Premier League pros.
Should Giroud end up in Inter with Antonio Conte, he would be joining a side that has already recruited the likes of Victor Moses, Christian Eriksen, Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Matteo Darmian and Ashley Young into their ranks. With perhaps the possible exception of Eriksen, it’s fair to say that Giroud would be joining Inter with the most respect to his name from his time in the Premier League, and he does have some history with the likes of Moses and Sanchez already.
But, besides hoovering up as many Premier League rejects as possible, Olivier Giroud represents a different sort of forward to what Inter have in their ranks right now. The general rule of Inter Milan right now is that if Lukaku isn’t scoring then no one is, Lautaro Martinez is hotly rated and undoubtedly a potential superstar in the making, however, he does have long periods where he just disappears on the pitch. With all his experience, Giroud could come in and help relieve some of the pressures on Lukaku right now.
West Ham United
Another side that have become somewhat infamous for bringing in experienced Premier League pros when it looks like their time in the top flight is drawing to a close. The likes of Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Samir Nasri, Jack Wilshere, Javier Hernandez and Patrice Evra have all come through the doors at the London Stadium in recent times, so seeing another slightly aged pro rock up certainly wouldn’t be a surprise.
And in the striking department is exactly where West Ham are struggling as well. Sebastian Haller arrived to much hype and a hefty transfer fee, however he has so far struggled to really maintain a consistent enough run of form to justify these. David Moyes has increasingly had to rely on Michail Antonio up front for the goals, which has worked well enough so far but remains a little bit too one dimensional for West Ham to begin mounting a serious charge up the table.
Giroud would certainly bring something different to the table to Michail Antonio, and the two could even link up as an interesting ‘little and large’ duo at the top end of the pitch. With a similar sort of playstyle to Haller, Giroud would bring a level of experience in the league that the Ivorian doesn’t quite have just yet, and his style would mean that Moyes and his players wouldn’t have to massively adjust their tactics too much either.
There is of course the small issue of Giroud making it just the three London clubs he would have turned out for over the years.