Olivier Giroud hopes that Gary Cahill will stay at Chelsea despite the club captain claiming he might leave in January .
Antonio Rudiger's injury against West Ham led to Cahill's first appearance of the season as he stepped off the bench at the London Stadium, but the England international has failed to even make the majority of his side's match day squads in 2018-19.
Cahill had a major role in Antonio Conte's back three when the club won the Premier League and FA Cup over the past two campaigns, but Maurizio Sarri has not found a use for the 32-year-old after switching back to a back four.
And he has been impressed by Cahill and is hopeful he will stay at Stamford Bridge beyond January.
"We have a lot of good players who can play in the starting XI," Giroud told reporters. "The problem is we have four-five centre backs and the coach made his choice. Gary is not in a good position because it is quite tough for him, he doesn’t play so much.
"I understand that he wants to play more. At one stage I was the same and I didn’t like that. We are happy when we are on the pitch. I think his heart is still in Chelsea and hopefully we will keep him because we need him. He needs to be happy, that is the main thing.
"But I hope he stays because he is important for us, he is a very good player. He’s been at Chelsea for six years, he is one of the faces of Chelsea and one of our captains. We need him."
The cup game is followed by a Premier League match against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Saturday as Sarri's side look to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.