The 32-year-old Frenchman grabbed a brilliant hat-trick in the Ukraine in a 5-0 humbling of Dinamo Kiev on Thursday to send Chelsea through to the last eight of the Europa League, and then declared that he is one of the fittest players at the club – and wants to play every game.
Olivier Giroud has only played 56 minutes of Premier League football this season, as Sarri has preferred to use the now departed Alvaro Morata, on loan Gonzalo Higuain – and even Eden Hazard as a ‘false’ nine, ahead of the former Arsenal man.
But Giroud, when he has had his chance, has taken it in style. The hat-trick in Kiev meant that he had scored nine goals in nine Europa League games – and he has one goal in the league after coming on as a sub at Tottenham.
A tally of ten goals then, which makes the centre forward the club’s second highest scorer this season, behind only Eden Hazard.
But the Frenchman has warned he is unhappy with life on the bench suggesting he will look to leave the club in the summer – despite the transfer embargo on Chelsea meaning they won’t be able to sign another forward.
The French international said: “No chance I will settle for being a substitute.
“I’m a competitor. I have been through a lot of tough moments in my career. I want to enjoy playing my football after winning the World Cup last summer.
“I want to take maximum pleasure on the pitch. That’s why when I play I try to enjoy the game as much as I can. I am a competitor. I want to play every single game and to be happy on the pitch.
“But I am not picking the team, the manager makes some choices. I play in the Europa League and I am happy to help the team to go through the stages step by step. The target is clearly to win it. The Premier League is another thing.”
Giroud, whose trio of goals in chilly Kiev was a perfect hat trick – left foot, right foot and then header – and his first since netting three for Arsenal against Aston Villa in May 2016, also reckons he is one of the fittest players at the club, even at 32, and has plenty of time left in him.
He said: “I’m 32 but I’m still young. I feel very well physically. When I do the tests on the treadmill I have to say that I have one of the best at the club. Physically I feel very good.
“I have the motivation to carry on. Some of the boys asked me why I didn’t retire after the World Cup with the national team, but I’m still hungry and I know how much I will miss football after my career. I want more and more. I think I have a few nice years in front of me. I don’t know how many, my body will tell me. I still feel as fresh as when I was in my twenties.”
Giroud added: “I remember my hat-tricks, but this one was important because it was in the Europa League. I scored a hat-trick for Arsenal against Olympiakos when they needed to win by three goals and we won 3-0. But this was best day for Chelsea.
“When I have the opportunity to play and finish well the work of my team-mates, I do it with great pleasure.
“Ross Barkley asked me if I’d done the ‘perfect hat-trick’. I didn’t know that people said that about scoring with left foot, right and the head, but it was a good night for us. The team character, determination was very good. We killed it early and afterwards it was mentally very hard for them to come back.
“It’s good to be top scorer in the Europa League. I’m happy that English clubs are back on the European scene. Hopefully one of them will win.”