Chelsea striker Giroud is 'one of the Premier League's most underrated players', claims Cole

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Giroud Chelsea 2020
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A former Blues midfielder heaped praise upon the Frenchman after seeing him net the winning goal against Rennes in the Champions League

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is "one of the Premier League's most underrated players", according to Joe Cole.

Giroud headed home his second goal of the season to give Chelsea a 2-1 win away at Rennes in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The 34-year-old's late effort booked the Blues a place in the round of 16, and he could now be in contention to feature when Frank Lampard's men play host to Tottenham in Sunday's London derby.

Giroud has been restricted to just four top-flight appearances this term, all from the substitutes' bench, having fallen behind summer signing Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham in the squad pecking order.

The Frenchman wasn't given the chance to build on his impressive post-lockdown form in 2019-20 - a period in which he managed to hit eight goals in 11 matches - but Lampard insisted he still has an important role to play after his star turn against Rennes.

Cole is in awe of how Giroud has remained so consistent in front of goal since moving to Stamford Bridge from Arsenal in January 2018, and thinks Lampard will try to keep the veteran striker happy so that he stays in west London beyond the winter transfer window.

“I think he’s one of the Premier League’s most underrated players, he consistently performs whether it be for Arsenal or Chelsea,” the former Blues midfielder told BT Sport.

“It’s not just moments like today such as getting the winning goal, it’s his general demeanour around the place, he’s a good player in the dressing room.

“There’s a reason why Didier Deschamps relies on him for France. Frank will not want Giroud walking out of the door in January.

“It was a great header from Giroud. That was amazing.”

Cole also reserved special praise for Mason Mount, who provided the assist for Callum Hudson-Odoi to open the scoring at Roazhon Park.

“He’s a manager’s dream. He’s in that bracket when he gets on the pitch and he gets on with it, he does what’s required in the moment," he added.

"He’s everywhere on the pitch, but on top of that, he’s a genius as well - he can make something happen, he can score a goal, make a pass, he’s so down to earth.

"He makes that (assist vs Newcastle) look easy, but he’s fizzed that into an area where Fernandez has no option but to put it in his own goal. He does the right thing with the football at all times, he’s well-schooled, he’s a great lad.

"He’s a mainstay now for Chelsea and England, for me.”

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