Olivier Giroud

Chelsea announced yesterday that they were activating the option to extend Olivier Giroud’s contract by a year.

The striker spent most of the season on the bench, finding himself behind even Michy Batshuayi in the pecking order until after Christmas.

But the injury to Tammy Abraham in the spring meant a chance for the France star, and his great run of form until the coronavirus break was vital to Frank Lampard’s team as they tried to steady the ship for the final stretch.

But this extension isn’t a reward for his good form, nor is it a guarantee that he won’t be sold this summer.

It’s just Chelsea protecting their asset, who would otherwise be able to walk away for free. The amount of interest in the France striker in January, as reported all over the tabloids, proves that despite his age there are teams willing to buy him, and exercising this clause just means the club have the choice between keeping and selling him.

It’s not generally considered a great idea to let your assets walk away for free, so it won’t have been a difficult decision to make for Marina Granovskaia.

The uncertainty around the market this summer makes keeping your options open important for every club. Now Chelsea can keep him for just the end of the season and then sell him, or keep him for the rest of all of this season and next, or sell him in January if they really want. Le10Sport in France agree, saying he’s still a target for teams including Lazio and Roma despite this news that his deal now runs until 2021.

As for Giroud himself, the Euros being pushed back a year has reduced the pressure on him to play right away to keep his place in Didier Deschamps’ France team. But come the start of the new season, the pressure will be on him again to play every week; and it may be that despite this extension in West London, he’s pushing hard for a move when the window reopens – whenever that may be.

“The greatest talent I ever coached was Ronaldo but at the same time he was the player who created the most problems for me in the dressing room. He used to throw parties and do everything. Once Van Nistelrooy said to me: ‘Coach, the dressing room smells like alcohol’.” – this coach reveals all about the Madrid dressing room, right here.

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