France manager Didier Deschamps said Olivier Giroud’s limited game time at Chelsea has had an impact on the striker’s position in the national team.
The 34-year-old has struggled for game time at Chelsea, having made just one start (against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup) this season so far.
He is now the third-choice striker behind Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham and, considering Chelsea’s recent success, it is unlikely there will be any shift in the pecking order anytime soon.
While Giroud managed to keep his France spot despite his limited role at Chelsea in recent years, things might not be the same now.
Giroud featured from the bench in France’s 1-0 win over Portugal on Saturday, with Anthony Martial and Kingsley Coman starting ahead of him.
“I try to make my choices in the direction I think is best for the French team,” France boss Deschamps explained to reporters after the game (via Le Figaro).
“With Anthony [Martial], it allows us to have a little more depth.
“Compared to Olivier, I know him, he is going through a delicate period physically and mentally.
“He has to be impacted, first of all with the situation he has in a club, knowing that he is a big frame and that he needs rhythm, it’s hard.”
Deschamps also had his say about the striker’s lack of starts at Chelsea.
“Obviously for Olivier, if the situation drags on, he knows very well what I think – for him, to stay competitive,” he added.
“That’s not why I want to lose him, it’s complicated, we’ll talk, but obviously he has every interest [that his situation at Chelsea] doesn’t last, for him, to remain competitive, but we must not forget what he did with us and what he is still able to do.”