download All Football App

Giroud finding Chelsea bench duty 'difficult' as Higuain deal edges ever closer

  /  autty

The World Cup-winning Frenchman has found regular game time hard to come by this season and is set for fresh competition for a striking berth

Olivier Giroud has aired his “frustration” at life on the bench at Chelsea, with the World Cup winner admitting his situation is already “difficult” as speculation suggests Gonzalo Higuain could be about to join him at Stamford Bridge.

Goal has revealed that the Blues are closing in on a deal with Juventus which will see them land a top striking target during the January transfer window.

Maurizio Sarri is moving to bring in a player he has previously worked with at Napoli as he has been left far from convinced by France international Giroud and Spanish frontman Morata – who is edging towards the exits and a possible switch to Atletico Madrid.

Any agreement for Higuain would likely further limit Giroud’s game time for Chelsea, with Eden Hazard already been preferred as a false nine on several occasions, and the 32-year-old concedes his situation is far from ideal.

He told ESPN FC: “It's not me who decides the team, making the starting XI, but obviously every single player wants to play every single game.

“As a competitor obviously I can't be happy to stay on the bench, but I keep that frustration with me and try to transform it to positive energy to work hard in training.

“It's true that every time I play from the start I try to bring something to the team, to play my part. But in these 14 games I started maybe only half of them, so it's a bit difficult to be consistent in this case. You need to play a few games in a row to be competitive, so that's what's a bit difficult in this last month.”

Giroud, who joined Chelsea from Arsenal in January 2018, added: “The first six months [at Chelsea] were very good for me. I needed to leave Arsenal because of the fact that Arsene Wenger wanted to play with a different kind of striker. My time was over in Arsenal and I was really pleased to sign in a big club like Chelsea.

“I settled really well - it's like I was part of this Chelsea team for a long time. I felt very good, with a good understanding with the players. We won the FA Cup and I played a few games, and then I had the opportunity to go to the World Cup. It was very good for me.

“Then after, when I came back late from the World Cup, it was a bit different because the new manager came and you have to start again, prove to him that you are ready to play in this team. It has been a little bit difficult for me to be honest, this last month, but I will keep fighting to play in this team.”

Giroud’s next outing for Chelsea could come against Arsenal on Saturday, with there a determination on his part to be involved in a crunch London derby with vital points on the line in an ongoing battle for top-four finishes.

He said: “It's going to be a special moment for me, the first time I'll be back at the Emirates since I moved to Chelsea, so I'm looking forward to this game.

“We need the win to keep them away from us. There's an opportunity to put them nine points behind us, but in a personal way it's going to be a special moment.”

Arsenal will be under the guidance of Unai Emery this weekend, having parted company with Arsene Wenger last summer after 22 years of stability, and Giroud believes good times beckon for the Gunners if they keep faith with a new regime.

He added: “It's a new adventure for them with a new coach.

“I think Emery has settled well in the club, the players like him, the way they are training, his philosophy of the game. I spoke with some of them and they are quite happy, but you don't forget what Arsene Wenger achieved in this club.

“He basically built this club - if you take the different teams that used to train under Wenger, there were some unbelievable teams. We need to be patient with Emery and I think he will do very well at Arsenal. I'm not sure they're better than before [yet], but one thing for sure is they've got a nice future.”