Olivier Giroud’s agent has claimed that Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has treated the striker unfairly this season, further paving the way for a potential transfer out of the club in January.
Playing back-up to Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Tammy Abraham, Giroud has had just 33 minutes of Premier League game time in 2020/21 and has more often than not remained an unused substitute. His only start of the campaign so far was in the Carabao Cup against Tottenham in September.
That is in stark contrast to the second half of last season when he played in each of Chelsea’s last 13 league games - starting the majority. The veteran Frenchman also scored eight times in those 13 appearances alone, seven of which ended in Chelsea wins.
Agent Michael Manuello has denied claims that Giroud’s lack of club action is jeopardising his selection for France at Euro 2020 – the former Arsenal and Montpellier star has never been left out of a squad when fit since his debut in 2011 and has regularly started since 2016.
But Manuello also insisted that how his client has been disregarded at Chelsea isn’t fair, even though he accepts that summer arrivals changed the landscape somewhat at Stamford Bridge.
“There are still €150m of players who have been bought. It's not the same to play with Ziyech, Havertz, Werner or without them, so I put it into perspective,” Manuello told FootMercato.
“But we must not be blind and Frank Lampard has decided to put Tammy Abraham before [Giroud]. It's not necessarily fair compared to what Olivier did at the end of the season. But [Lampard] has the right, it is his choice.”
The agent stated that, while it won’t be a knee-jerk reaction that ignores his playing time in the second half of last season, Giroud will be in a similar situation in December that he was in last year if things stay as they are – a move to Inter was on the cards last January before it fell through.
“We cannot go back only to the last two months and forget about the three before. But we have to be honest and it's true that if this continues, [Giroud] will have to experience [somewhere else],” Manuello explained.
But despite the agent’s assertion that a lack of playing time won’t inhibit his international prospects, as it hasn’t in recent years despite an increasingly bit-part role at club level, France coach Didier Deschamps did warn this week that Giroud needs to be playing more by March’s internationals.
“Olivier Giroud knows it - the situation he's in today cannot drag on forever. Before March he will have to find another situation than this one,” Deschamps said.
“Today, it is not good for him. Will it stay the same or will it improve? It's up to him. He knows what I think, even if I don't forget everything he has done and everything he would still be able to do.”