Chelsea go into the season with three genuine options to take the striker role and Olivier Giroud may be the best placed to begin the campaign as the first-choice pick.
Blues head coach Frank Lampard has a decision to make over his frontman and who will lead the line away to Manchester United on the first day of the Premier League season.
Giroud looks destined to get the first crack at the centre-forward role and it’s been a long time coming.
The France international has been in and out of the side since he joined in January 2018 for around £18million (BBC), but may finally get an extended opportunity to impress under Lampard.
He’s extremely suited to the lone striker role with his presence and hold up play, while he’s got brilliant experience too at the elite level.
Giroud has 18 goals and 13 assists in 63 games since he moved to Stamford Bridge, but is yet to really cement his spot in the XI and last season his biggest impact came in the Europa League.
The left-footed striker has expressed his desire to start every game and perhaps he will now get more of a shot in the Premier League.
“Will I settle for being a substitute? No. No chance. I have been through a lot of tough moments in my career,” he told the Telegraph back in March.
But Giroud needs to be wary of his Blues teammate Michy Batshuayi.
Rising talent Tammy Abraham may be introduced as the third-choice striker and should be looking to impress in domestic cup competitions, but it’s Batshuayi that may provide the best competition for Giroud.
Batshuayi has been out on several loan spells in the past 18 months, but is now back for pre-season and should be looking to seize his chance to break into the first-team regularly.
The 25-year-old impressed with six goals in 13 games in the second half of last season for Crystal Palace and previously proved himself at Stamford Bridge.
He’s still a big favourite around the club with fans and is a much younger option that should push Giroud all the way.
It’s an interesting battle to see who comes out on top, but perhaps the experience of Giroud may give him a small margin to begin the season at least.