Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud said he was close to leaving Chelsea before manager Frank Lampard convinced him to stay.
The 33-year-old has just signed a new one-year contract after somewhat of a rollercoaster season.
From the start of the season until the home game against Manchester United on February 17, he had just seven appearances across all competitions under Frank Lampard.
Understandably, with the Euros (before it was moved to 2021) coming up, the French international was keen on leaving in the January transfer window.
He told Chelsea’s official website: “I was supposed to leave in the January transfer window because I wasn’t playing much and I needed more game time to make the France squad for Euro 2020.
“I very nearly left the club but I really think that God wanted me to stay at Chelsea.
“The manager told me that he couldn’t let me leave because he didn’t have anyone to replace me.
“Everyone knows what happened so I won’t go back over it but the coach spoke to me privately and told me that he’d give more games.
“He kept his word and what then mattered to me was proving to him that he could count on me when I was called upon.”
With Lampard’s first-choice striker Tammy Abraham having been out injured since February, Giroud seized the opportunity.
The former Arsenal man scored just two goals in the last five games, but his aerial presence and link-up play played major parts in those games.
And although he is arguably well past his prime, Giroud is arguably one of the best back-up strikers in the league and his experience could help Lampard’s young squad next season.
Especially with the current financial situation, Giroud’s extension provides Chelsea a safety net in case they fail to land another striker this summer.
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