At the age of 34, Olivier Giroud has matured like fine wine and his coach at Chelsea, Frank Lampard still holds him in high regard.
Lampard said Giroud, a model professional, seems to be getting better with age as the Frenchman scored a dramatic late winner for the Blues against Stade Rennais in the Uefa Champions League at Roazhon Park on Tuesday night.
Giroud has yet to start a Premier League or Uefa Champions League game this season but came on as a second half substitute and netted in stoppage time to seal Chelsea’s 2-1 win and a place in the Champions League last 16.
“Everybody kind of feels from the outside what a great professional he is, how highly regarded he is by his teammates and myself,” said Lampard.
“He’s so professional in how he trains and looks after himself that age isn’t even a factor for him. He’s getting better with age if anything, in terms of how he looks after himself.”
The Chelsea coach has favoured new signing Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham ahead of Giroud and the striker’s lack of game time prompted France coach Didier Deschamps to tell him to sort out his situation ahead of next year’s European Football Championship (Euros).
12 – Olivier Giroud has scored 12 goals in European competitions since 2018/19, more than any other French player over this period. Bench ? pic.twitter.com/3j10AIaHvj
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) November 24, 2020
But with the London-based outfit set to play 10 matches in six weeks, Lampard insists more minutes will be afforded to Giroud, who is France’s second-highest scorer with 44 goals.
“He offers a lot for us and I keep saying it but the big schedule coming up and the way we play means I will rely on players,” added Lampard.
4 – Olivier Giroud is the 4th player to score for both Arsenal and Chelsea in the Champions League after William Gallas, Cesc Fabregas and Nicolas Anelka. Winner. pic.twitter.com/VD1CTFQZ1c
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 24, 2020
“Thankfully for me he’s a player that always keeps the right attitude if he’s not playing regularly and I know when I call upon him that he comes in as he did today.”
A total of 26 goals were scored in the Champions League on Tuesday with Sevilla, Barcelona and Juventus joining Chelsea in the last 16.
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