Van Dijk comment proves Chelsea haven't learned from transfer blunders

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • Updated: 15 Jan 2024 13:53 GMT
  • 4 min read
Virgil van Dijk, Chelsea, Liverpool
© ProShots

Virgil van Dijk’s latest comments prove that Chelsea made a huge mistake by letting Olivier Giroud leave the club in 2021.

France’s all-time record goal-scorer left the Blues for a mere €2.9 million to join AC Milan two-and-a-half years ago and while his departure wasn’t seen as a particularly big deal at the time, it was a major error in hindsight.

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Giroud is currently the second-top goal-scorer in Serie A this season, with 10 goals in 17 games, while he is also the joint-second top assister too (six).

The ex-Arsenal and Chelsea striker is now 37 years old, but he remains at the very top of his game and Liverpool defender Van Dijk recently admitted that Giroud is the most difficult opponent he has ever faced.

“I think that Olivier Giroud [is the toughest attacker I have played against],” the Dutchman told France Football.

“Every time, you think you’ve got a hold of him, that you’ve got him well marked, but he always manages to score in one way or another: with his head, his foot, his knee. He has often scored against me.”

Olivier Giroud: Another transfer error by Chelsea

Chelsea have a history of letting stars leave too early, notably Mohamed Salah and Kevin de Bruyne, and while Giroud was far older than that pair when he left Stamford Bridge, it was still foolish to let him leave.

Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, his replacements in west London, struggled during their time at Chelsea and have already left, while Nicolas Jackson has also endured a tricky spell following his summer move from Villarreal.

Napoli superstar Victor Osimhen is viewed as the solution to Chelsea’s long-standing striker issues, but it remains to be seen if the Blues will be able to match the Nigerian’s lofty reported release clause of €130m.

Olivier Giroud is France's record goal-scorer
© ProShots - Olivier Giroud is France's record goal-scorer

Karim Benzema has therefore been tipped as a short-term solution to Chelsea’s lack of goals and the Frenchman could be available after recent troubles at Al-Ittihad. However, the Blues wouldn’t need to pursue the Real Madrid legend if they had decided to keep Giroud all this time.

One major problem that Chelsea have faced this year is the number of turnovers in attack. They are often unable to maintain a sustained period of pressure due to loose touches or poor decision-making by their young forwards.

Giroud, on the other hand, is an experienced veteran and would have been a perfect bounce player for Raheem Sterling, Cole Palmer and Mykhailo Mudryk to link up with. His hold-up play and ability to attack crosses would have also been the perfect weapon against the deep blocks that Chelsea often struggle to break down.

Furthermore, his presence would’ve allowed Jackson to develop slowly and learn the intricacies of Premier League football without being thrust straight into the limelight, and his age would’ve overlapped perfectly with Chelsea’s pursuit of Osimhen.

The Blues have made several major transfer blunders over the years and letting Giroud leave is certainly one of them.

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