Fans have been enamoured by rumours that Chelsea will be allowing French international Olivier Giroud to leave the club this January.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
There are only 45 days until the winter transfer window’s doors swing open like the ever-revolving doors of a restaurant kitchen, and as such all of the transfer rumours and fan wants have begun to air.
One which has reared this week is that of Les Blues international Olivier Giroud, their third-highest scoring player, who is rumoured to be available from Chelsea for around £7,000,000.
Social media has been awash with fans stating that the £7,000,000 tag is paltry enough for Aston Villa to make an offer amidst the perceived struggles that they are facing up top.
With Wesley requiring some competition as Jonathan Kodjia has amassed under 100 minutes of game time this season and looks set to leave in January, and young Keinan Davis struggling with a hamstring injury – it’s evident that a striker is top of Dean Smith’s new-year wish list.
Olivier Giroud, however, is not the answer. He’s not the answer to any question, or any issues within the squad.
Now 33-years-old, Giroud is looking for one last hurrah before the grasp of Major League Soccer, the Chinese Super League, the J1 League or Q-League drag him away to far corners of the world for a huge pay-check.
That’s how ‘mercenaries’ come about in the world of football – players happy to take the money without providing much on the field – and Aston Villa have already had their fair share of them.
Finding his game time limited under the youthful approach of Chelsea manager Frank Lampard and via the emergence of former Villan Tammy Abraham as a firm favourite in the striker role at Stamford Bridge, Olivier Giroud has managed 234 minutes of football this season – spread across four substitute appearances, a 75 minute outing in the UEFA Super Cup and 62 minutes against Leicester City.
He’s managed to score one goal, in the Super Cup, but his involvement in games has lacked.
Fans consider Giroud of a similar ilk to Keinan Davis – in that he may not score many goals, but provided great hold-up play for others to run on to. But that isn’t necessarily what Aston Villa need.
Last season, Giroud was better, and received more game time under Maurzio Sarri. The forward amassed 2352 minutes of play, scoring 13 goals and assisting in 8. Many would say that he was the reason that Chelsea made it to the Europa League final.
Take away Olivier’s Europa League involvement, and it’s even more evident that he is not what Aston Villa need. Across a number of games in the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup – where Villa would be utilising the forward – Giroud managed two goals and three assists last season.
One could argue that his ability to hold the ball up could have provided more than just his two goals and three assists, but the France international picked up no second assists (where a pass leads to an assist) in all three competitions last season.
With interest from Conte’s Inter Milan, and a wage spanning over £100,000 a week, it’s unlikely that Giroud would ever be an option for Dean Smith. Even with a reduced wage, it would make Giroud the highest-paid player at the club by a country mile. That’s even before you ignore the fact that he does not fit into the club’s transfer policy.
As it stands, Aston Villa are currently in a relegation battle – but this could all change before January.
Either way, the club needs players that are ready to fight for the badge – not for a final way into their EURO 2020 squad and a last hurrah in the Premier League.