Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has expressed his delight with new arrival Olivier Giroud and how he has managed to settle in at Stamford Bridge.
The 31-year-old French centre-forward left the Emirates Stadium in the January transfer window after failing to cement a starting berth at Arsenal. On the last day of the winter transfer window, Giroud completed a £12 million move to London rivals Chelsea where many questioned the impact he would make at a slightly more successful club over the recent past. However, his goal-scoring record was usually underestimated by most of the football world.
Chelsea signed Spanish striker Alvaro Morata last summer for a club record fee of around £60 million but the 25-year-old had not hit the ground running and his injuries have hampered his time so far at Stamford Bridge. The Blues were running short on options for the main target-man before Giroud’s services were secured. And despite making a rather slow start to life at the West London outfit.
Giroud scored the vital opening goal against Southampton in their 2-0 win in the FA Cup semi-final which helped Conte’s men progress through to the final and set up a crunch encounter with Manchester United next month. The Italian manager is pleased with Giroud’s addition to the squad where his performances have heaped praise on his star forward.
Conte Explains Why He Preferred Giroud Over Morata-
Speaking at the post-match presser after the Southampton game on Sunday, the 48-year-old manager said that Giroud fits the bill for the traits he expects from his attacking player, “He [Giroud] has been a good signing for us, for sure. I needed a player with his characteristics: strong physically, able to hold the ball up and allow our number 10 to make combinations with him.”
I think Giroud’s value at Arsenal was underestimated; he was a natural goalscorer who came under a lot of criticism which was rather unfair. At Chelsea, Giroud can now express himself differently and play according to his manager’s strengths.
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