Former Chelsea defender William Gallas believes that Olivier Giroud is ready to lead the line regularly for the Blues, and that he could keep Alvaro Morata on the bench in the biggest games.
Giroud signed for £18 million from Arsenal on deadline day in January as part of a transfer triangle - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang went from Dortmund to Arsenal and Michy Batshuayi left Chelsea on loan for the German club.
Chelsea's record £58 million signing Morata, meanwhile, hasn't scored since December and is increasingly finding himself on the bench as he battles through poor form and a back problem. And Gallas, a former Blue, thinks that Giroud is good enough to start for Chelsea in place of the Spaniard.
"He can be [Morata's replacement]. He has shown in the past that he can do it with Arsenal," Gallas told Goal . "He was struggling a little bit at Arsenal when he was on the bench. But when Arsene Wenger put him on the pitch, he showed everybody he can do the job.
"With Chelsea I think he will do the same thing. Everyone knows at Chelsea that the first choice will be Alvaro Morata but you have to play well to keep your position to be the first choice.
"If you don’t play well, you know behind you, you have a striker [Giroud]. If he has his chance to play, maybe he will take it. That’s why I like it. That lifts the level of the training and that then lifts the performance of the players.
"You need to have competition between the players because you have to play in many competitions. You have to play in the Champions League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Premier League. We know it is very difficult for the players to play all the games.
"Some players can be tired. Some players can be injured. The players who don’t start, they will have their opportunity to play but he has to be ready when his manager needs him.
"I don’t just look at it as the competition between the two strikers. The best will play, for sure, but when you are at the training ground, you are friends and colleagues. You are not there to fight against each other because you do the same job. What both players want is to see their team win every game or lift some trophies."
Gallas made more than 200 appearances for Chelsea in five years at the club, winning back-to-back Premier League titles, including the first one for 50 years at the west London club in 2004-05.
He is now working as a pundit on SFR Sport in France and he recently met Giroud at Cobham Training Ground in his role that involves both interviews and commentary. He spoke about watching the striker going through a move between London clubs, just like he did 12 years ago.
"Because he had his family, it was very important for him to stay in London," Gallas added. "I understand exactly why he decided to move to Chelsea. I know some fans are not happy because he is going to the west London club and it is a rival. I did the same move but in a different way from Chelsea to Arsenal.
"It can be difficult for the fans to understand but at the end of the day, what is most important? The most important when you play for one club is to give 100 per cent when you wear that shirt – it can be the blue one or the red one. When you are on the pitch, you are fighting for that club, that’s what I did.
"I am sure Giroud will do the same thing. I didn’t know him as a man but I used to know him as a player. I used to play against him. Maybe I played against him two times. He is a very strong striker and it is difficult to get the ball from him."
Gallas also believes his fellow Frenchman made the right choice in moving from the Gunners to the Blues, especially with playing time so crucial ahead of a World Cup.
"I realised that he is very passionate. It is normal for him to go to another club to see if he can play more and to see if he can be involved in the World Cup," Gallas said. "As a man I say he is a very humble guy and very polite.
"He is a guy who you can have a good conversation with. He is a guy who knows what he wants to do. He is a family guy, he has his wife and children. He tries to do everything for them and his family as well."