Joe Cole applauded Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud after his match-winning contribution on Tuesday night, as well as insisting he wants to see him stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the January transfer window.

The left-footer came off the bench in the Champions League group stages away to Rennes and scored a 91st minute header to seal progression to the knockout rounds in a 2-1 victory. 

Giroud, who earns £110,000-a-week (Spotrac), showed his class with a crucial goal in midweek but there are concerns about his future.

The Blues forward has started in just one of his eight appearances so far this season in all competitions, with Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner both above him in the pecking order. 

He recently admitted that he may have a decision to make in the New Year about his future if he doesn’t get more minutes, as he’s got aspirations of playing in the European Championships in the summer with France.

Stade Rennais v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)

Pundit and ex-Chelsea star Cole discussed Giroud in his post-match analysis:

“I’d love to see him stay because that won’t be the last time he bails Chelsea out, he’s brilliant off the bench. I think he’s one of the most underrated players we’ve seen over the last five years in the Premier League,” Cole told BT Sport 3 (8:02pm, 24 November).

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has a big job on his hands trying to keep a number of international players happy and he needs to do his best to try keep Giroud for the whole of the season.

His experience within the squad and also on the pitch is so vital to Chelsea, as he’s such a goal threat when he plays and is going to be needed to help the club achieve their goal of silverware.

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