After notching four goals in just his second start of the season, talk inevitably turned to Olivier Giroud’s future and there was an emphatic answer from the Frenchman about his desire to stay at Stamford Bridge…
No sooner had Giroud collected the match ball in Seville, had it signed by his team-mates in the dressing room and carefully stowed it away ahead of the flight back to London, than the 34-year-old was fielding those familiar questions about his short-term career plans.
In France, Giroud’s homeland and the country that he has scored 44 goals for on the international stage, seven behind record holder Thierry Henry, there is a phrase for a feeling of having experienced all this before.
With the European Championship finals delayed by a year, and his national team manager Didier Deschamps desperate for his leading striker to be playing more minutes, there is certainly a sense of déjà vu to the narrative around Giroud right now.
For the player himself, a model professional on and off the field, the focus remains on being in the right physical and mental condition to perform whenever he is called upon.
‘I just have to show the manager that I am ready to fight until the end, as I told him at the beginning of the season, but obviously to be happy I need to be a little bit more on the pitch,’ Giroud said in the aftermath of our 4-0 win in Seville, a result that secured top spot in the Champions League Group E.
‘The gaffer gave me the opportunity to play and I hope I will have more opportunities again because I think I’ve shown him that I am ready to fight for the team. We all want to be on the pitch but we have a great squad.’
Despite expectations last season that he would move away from west London in the winter transfer window, the striker stayed and played a key role in Frank Lampard’s Blues securing a top-four finish in the Premier League.
History appears to be repeating itself now, with reports suggesting Giroud risks losing his place in the France team if he doesn't feature more often at club level, though our number 18 feels he can achieve everything he wants by playing his part at Chelsea and is determined to continue fighting for success.
‘If I play a bit more than in the beginning of the season, I have a good chance to be fit and ready for the Euros,' he added.
'I had a conversation with Deschamps and he said if the situation stayed like that, I will have to take a decision in January. I am pretty sure I can get some more game time and stay at Chelsea because that is what I want. I want to win trophies with Chelsea so basically that’s it.
‘You never know in football, everything is going very fast, but right now I am very happy. I am a happy man and I am proud to be a Chelsea player.’