Maurizio Sarri has erred by not giving Olivier Giroud a greater role at Chelsea

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Olivier Giroud's lack of playing time at Chelsea is baffling...

Chelsea’s upcoming Europa League round of 32 clash against Dynamo Kyiv could be a chance for Olivier Giroud to make his mark.

The French forward has struggled for game time at Chelsea ever since his arrival from Arsenal on an 18-month contract in January, 2018. Giroud’s isolation has only increased in the 2018-19 campaign with the 32-year-old a marginal figure in Maurizio Sarri’s setup.

Most of Giroud’s minutes this season have come primarily in the Europa League where he has registered seven appearances for the Blues. The Frenchman has been a notable figure in Chelsea’s progression through the second-tier European competition and has grabbed six goals in his seven appearances.

Despite scoring half the goals for his side in their Europa League campaign so far, Giroud has been a peripheral figure at Stamford Bridge, especially in the Premier League where he has been given only six starts.

The baffling aspect of Giroud’s lack of minutes on the pitch is the fact that Chelsea have struggled in the striker’s department all season. For large parts in the first-half of the season, Sarri persisted with Alvaro Morata despite the Spaniard’s poor form in front of goal.

Olivier Giroud Chelsea 2018-19

Even when Morata was ultimately dropped, Sarri opted to go with a ‘false nine’ in Eden Hazard rather than giving Giroud an extended run in the striker’s position.

Now, the Blues have brought in the formidable Gonzalo Higuain to solve their striking woes but there is still no excuse for Sarri to underutilise Giroud.

Despite all the criticism of his lack of dynamism, Giroud’s goal-scoring prowess has never been in doubt. Not many players to have worn the Arsenal shirt all these years have been able to rack up a century of goals across all competitions in such quick time as Giroud has.

For five seasons running at the Emirates, Giroud scored at least 15 goals per campaign. There is no reason he cannot do it again if given an extended run in the Chelsea squad. Perhaps it is time for Sarri to push Giroud up the pecking order as the season enters its business end.

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