Why Chelsea are making a mistake selling Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud's move to AC Milan is expected to be confirmed today, and after the player announced his departure from Chelsea, it's only a matter of time before the Frenchman is plying his trade in Italy.
Milan will pay €1 million plus a further €1m in add-ons for the veteran striker who was signed by Chelsea in 2018.
Giroud took to Twitter to announce his departure and it's all but official that he'll be moving to Milan.
To all the Blues, to my teammates, to all my coaches, to the whole club, a huge thank you for these special moments 🙏🏼— Olivier Giroud (@_OlivierGiroud_) July 16, 2021
I'm starting a new journey with a light and happy heart. Our victories in Fa Cup, Europa League and Champions league have been magnificent. 🤩
Love Oli G 💙. pic.twitter.com/HytVlp0uYx
However, is Chelsea's decision to let Giroud leave the correct one?
Why Chelsea should've kept Giroud
Giroud was never really first choice at Chelsea, with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Tammy Abraham, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz often preferred through the middle during his time at the club.
However, he has always been a reliable goal-scorer for the club. In just 61 starts, he scored 39 goals for the Blues, and whenever called upon, he delivered. His hat-trick in this season's Champions League springs to mind, as does his run of form that secured Chelsea their place in the top four at the end of the 2019/20 season.
In fact, he netted 0.49 goals per 90 in the Premier League last season, which was worse than Abraham's 0.52, but better than Havertz's 0.23 and Werner's 0.21, who were Thomas Tuchel's two favoured number nine options.
Not only is Giroud a quality goal-scorer, he adds something different. His aerial ability always allowed Chelsea to go long and hit a target man, which isn't possible with Werner. It's a different option, and selling him negates that.
Furthermore, whilst Chelsea are heavily pursuing Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, a move has been deemed potentially "mission impossible" by multiple sources, and it's understood it will take far more than €100 million to acquire his services.
This means it may be unlikely that Haaland joins, and Chelsea's forward options will be limited, especially as Abraham is rumoured to be on his way out as well.
Chelsea's options through the middle have been reduced, and if Werner gets injured, or continues his woeful run of form, they may well end up to seriously let such a seasoned professional leave.