Olivier Giroud was Chelsea’s matchwinner as they qualified for the next stage of the Champions League last night.
The Frenchman netted a bullet header in stoppage time to earn a 2-1 victory against Rennes in his native country.
The game was covered live by BT Sport and their pundits Joe Cole and Peter Crouch both praised the experienced hitman.
Their theme was that Giroud is underrated and disrespected to a certain extent despite scoring goals at club and international level for years now.
“He’s one of the Premier League’s most underrated players, he consistently performs,” said Cole.
‘It’s not just moments like today. It’s his general demeanour around the place, he’s a good player in the dressing room. It was a great header from Giroud. That was amazing.”
“There has been a serious lack of respect for him in past years in the Premier League and France,” added Crouch. “He is one of the greater players France have had. It is time we stood up and lauded him.”
Giroud is Chelsea’s third-choice striker and faces a big decision in January with the rearranged European Championship on the horizon.
He could move elsewhere in search of regular gametime to try and keep his place at the forefront of Didier Deschamps’s attack.
Or, as he did last season, he could stay and fight for his place at Chelsea, hoping he’ll get more games as the season wears on.
Is Giroud as undervalued as Cole and Crouch say? Perhaps, because he has never really been viewed as an elite, or first choice striker on these shores.
But he is a World Cup winner and valued by Deschamps when he has a host of attacking talent at his disposal – which speaks volumes.
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