Giroud sees Chelsea competition with Morata, not false nine Hazard

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The Frenchman is facing another battle for starting spots following a move from Arsenal, but he does not see Antonio Conte sticking with an experiment

Olivier Giroud considers his competition for striking berths at Chelsea to be with Alvaro Morata, not ‘false nine’ Eden Hazard.

Antonio Conte has experimented with a man more at home on the flanks in a central forward role this season.

Hazard has, however, aired his frustration at being forced to fill an unfamiliar position, with mixed results returned from the contests in which he has operated down the middle.

Conte has no need to tinker with his tactical approach, having spent big drafting in proven front-men, and Giroud believes that a battle will soon be whittled down to him and £70 million colleague Morata.

The France international, who moved to Stamford Bridge from Arsenal during the January transfer window, told L’Equipe: “For me, the competition is with Morata. We can be made to play with Eden up front but it is very rare and it really hasn't borne fruit.

“There is always competition and it is necessary because I need that to continue to progress. I like challenges.”

Giroud has embraced competition wherever he has been and has shown a willingness on his part to play his way into contention and prove his worth.

He added: “After Montpellier, there was the choice of Arsenal and another club.

“My agent asked me if I was sure I wanted to go to Arsenal. I replied: 'Of course, it is that or nothing, even if there is [Robin] van Persie, the star of the club because I know I will have my chance'. I really wanted to go there. And then Van Persie left.

“But my choices have never been motivated by the easiest thing to do or the money. And until now, these sporting choices have proved to be rather good and rewarding.

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“The situation at Arsenal could not have been worse and it was really a step forward. With Chelsea, I think I have surprised people. I have come to the English club which has won most title over the last 10 years – that says everything.”

Giroud added on his decision to leave Arsenal after five-and-a-half years which delivered 105 goals: “You have to play.

“Leaving in January, it was a choice hurried up by the World Cup. I did not want to put myself in danger. It is good to keep that objective in your head and keep it as a motivation.”

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