Marcel Desailly says Olivier Giroud ‘can never be the main man’ at Chelsea despite the forward being ‘indispensable’ for the French national side.
Giroud has struggled to command an automatic starting position since moving to Chelsea but has returned to favour in recent weeks, scoring in Premier League clashes with Leeds and Wolves after earning an opportunity following his four-goal Champions League haul against Sevilla.
The forward had been linked with an exit next month as he seeks regular first-team football in a bid to retain his place at international level, with France manager Didier Deschamps having expressed his concerns over Giroud’s lack of playing time ahead of next summer’s European Championships.
Desailly admits that Giroud’s advancing years mean that he can ‘never be’ Chelsea’s first-choice forward throughout the entire campaign, but believes the 34-year-old can contribute plenty as the west London side go in search of silverware.
“He is not the future of Chelsea and he can never be the main man,” Desailly told Goal.
Olivier Giroud’s last 4 starts for Chelsea:
Wolves – ⚽️
Everton – ❌
Leeds – ⚽️
Sevilla – ⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️
Reliable goal scorer. 🇫🇷👏 pic.twitter.com/9ROz68QuX6
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 15, 2020
“He can only be important at moments for the club because Lampard can be clever to study the opponents and use him in specific games against teams who don’t like facing a player with his strengths.
“I believe that Lampard has helped Giroud shine often by getting a lot out of him but he can’t be the first choice for Lampard. He has Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner to compete with, so he can’t maintain his first-choice status from the start until the end.
“It is just down to Lampard to use him at the right time, get runners around him to allow him to shine. He is 34 years old now so don’t ask him to be the main man but make sure that he is important when he is needed. With his age, and status as a world champion, then I think this is about how and when you use him.”
Despite questioning whether Giroud can be Chelsea’s first-choice forward, Desailly believes the veteran remains ‘indispensable’ for the national team and says the World Cup winner gets the best out of those around him.
“He is indispensable for the national team,” he added. “Giroud is the perfect team-mate and player for the France national team. He is the first choice in the national team. [Anthony] Martial doesn’t combine as well in the national team as Giroud.
“[Kylian] Mbappe can play down the middle but he is the world champion from being out wide. You have to pick Giroud, who is the second top scorer in France’s history, even if at club level he is on and off.”