Evergreen striker Olivier Giroud still has a key role to play at Chelsea, says Frank Lampard
Blues boss Lampard praised the importance of Rennes Match winner Giroud at Stamford Bridge, where the 34-year-old was already linked to the January transfer.
The French striker, who has scored 44 goals, is set to become the Les Blues’ top striker at next summer’s European Championships, and could look for a move from Chelsea for more than ten games.
Giroud, who has played two games in Group E, made a strong header to give the Blues a 2-1 Champions League victory at Rennes.
Lampard believes Giroud will manage as he gets older, and the former Arsenal man is still valued in the blues.
Asked if Giroud’s goal underscores why Chelsea want to stay at Stamford Bridge, Lampard said: “Yes, it happened. I felt it for the first time. Last year it was him or Tommy (Abraham) who was fighting for number nine.
“Tommy had the first half of this season, and then the resumption of Oli was amazing.
“Behind the scenes, he’s a great professional and everyone on the outside feels that he and the team members respect him very much.
“So to get a goal, you saw the reaction of his team members, he is very professional in training and taking care of himself, age is not a factor for him.
“If there is anything based on how he takes care of himself, he gets better with age.
“So he offers us a lot of things, I keep saying that, but the big schedule and the way we play means that I depend on the players.
“So thankfully for me he’s always a right – minded player if he’s not playing regularly. When I call him, I know he’s just like he’s played.”
Time Hudson-Odoi’s early strike was on the edge of the Blues until Sergio Girasi’s equalizer left Chelsea.
World Cup winner Giroud completed a dramatic rescue from the bench, and Lampard once again praised the Frenchman’s patience and professionalism.
“Now Tommy is in good shape too, so I have to take the face value to get the best out of us,” Lampard said.
“I hope to know how happy I am with him and how much I depend on him in the moments.
“Every player wants to play all the games and keeping everyone happy is an impossible part of my job, but he knows, he feels content.
“He has minutes coming in today and there will be games when he starts for us. Hopefully we will continue that way. ”