Paul Merson has explained that Chelsea need to sign a striker when the transfer window re-opens in January.

The Blues now have the option to sign players in the New Year after their transfer ban was successfully reduced.

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Tammy Abraham has been the talisman in attack for Frank Lampard’s side this campaign, scoring 13 goals in 23 games across all competitions so far.

That has left Michy Batshuayi as his main understudy, while experienced Frenchman Olivier Giroud has been left on the fringes and played only seven first-team matches this season.

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Sky Sports pundit Merson believes that Giroud will depart in January, which will need Chelsea desperately requiring a new centre-forward.

Football.London has reported that Giroud is wanted by both Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid, with Lampard open to the idea of offloading him.

“They need a centre forward to take the load off Tammy Abraham for a start. He’s done brilliantly but you can’t rely on him alone for the rest of the season,” Merson wrote in the Daily Star.

“I think Olivier Giroud will go. He’s hardly played and isn’t getting any younger. So they will need to replace him.”

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Chelsea do now have the option to sign players in January, but whether they will remains to be seen and it will be intriguing to see who Lampard targets.

With Abraham the clear first-choice option in attack right now, it may be difficult for the Blues to try persuade a quality striker to join them midway through the season just to play a squad role.

It won’t be a surprise to see Giroud depart, as he’s still a regular starter for World Cup champions France and must be frustrated on the sidelines.

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