France international Olivier Giroud wanted a move away for regular playing time but has revealed that Chelsea stopped him from leaving in January. The former Arsenal striker struggled to play with Frank Lampard opting to use either Tammy Abraham or Michy Batshuayi in the first half of the season.
Frank Lampard has had a tough task of rotating between the trio of Tammy Abraham, Olivier Giroud and Mitchy Batshuai. It has always been a manager’s dilemma to keep all his strikers happy and running. It so becomes a problem when one is completely sidelined and declared inferior to the other, at least by actions. His pick of the three though has been the young England striker.
It saw striker Olivier Giroud consider a move away in the winter window with the Frenchman heavily linked to Tottenham, Inter Milan and even Lazio. However, in an interview, Giroud went on to admit that the Blues refused to let him go as the club couldn't bring in a replacement. The Frenchman also added that he saw himself playing elsewhere and wanted a change of scene to try and get back to his best form.
"To be honest, I saw myself playing elsewhere. I had six tough months, which is why I wanted a change of scene to get back to playing and enjoying myself on the pitch, so I tried to leave in January. I did everything I could, but Chelsea didn't want to let me leave because the condition in place was that they had to bring in a replacement. On 31 January, I still hoped that I would leave. I was very disappointed, but I'd say that by the following morning, I'd put that behind me," Giroud told Telefoot.
"I got straight back into the swing of things and was lucky that we had the winter break. I came back the week after raring to go and had the game against Manchester United when I came on and scored, but was marginally offside. Then there was the goal against Tottenham and I started playing regularly. That's how it is now. The coach [Frank Lampard] had promised me more playing time and kept his word, so I simply tried to take my chance."
The former Arsenal striker was limited to only nine appearances in the Premier League before the suspension and looked upto the mark whenever he was called upon by Lampard. However, with the Blues are determined to hand Lampard a brand new squad in the next transfer window, Giroud's future at Stamford Bridge is coming to an end and the Frenchman went on to admit that Inter Milan were extremely keen on him signing with Conte even speaking to the striker.
"Everyone knows the most interesting sporting project for me was at Inter Milan. The problem was that it dragged on and although Lazio and Tottenham were both interested, in the end it was no longer a question of where I would go, rather if I could leave or not.
"As for Inter, I'd spoken to (Antonio) Conte on the phone and he knew me from his time at Chelsea, having been the coach that brought me here. He liked my profile as a player, so that was an advantage, plus Inter were going to be in the Champions League [next year] and it's a huge club," he added.