According to the latest reports, Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud may be on the verge of parting ways with the Blues in the January transfer window. The Frenchman was handed a starting spot in the match against West Ham United but failed to make an impression up top as the Pensioners faced a 0-1 defeat away from home.

Giroud has always been the second-choice striker since his arrival at the west London club from their north London rivals Arsenal. However, since the arrival of current manager Frank Lampard, the player has been reduced to the role of a backup striker after Tammy Abraham and even Michy Batshuayi. However, rumours of his departure have been gaining strength after Lampard’s latest comments.

Speaking to the media after the match against the Hammers, the Chelsea boss spoke about the possibility of utilising Christian Pulisic as an attacking options up front. When asked about this possibility, Lampard said, “We will see,” he added, “He has got an ability to run behind the line and to be sharp in central areas, which will naturally get him more goals. But I am not going to say right now that is the solution. We will see going forward.”

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The former Chelsea midfielder turned manager, however, also defended Giroud after his lacklustre performance against West Ham United. Lampard said, “It was a difficult game for him. He did not get enough of the ball and then the couple of chances he had did not go in for him. It was a tough match for him but he was not the only one who came into the team and the performance was slightly off it. It was not the easiest game.”

Speaking about the team’s recent performances, which has seen them fail to notch up a single point in their last two matches in the Premier League, the Chelsea gaffer said, “We train hard. Some players, with the nature of how squads are in the modern game, we have to train hard to be at a level to come in. I would not want to point it to match fitness.”

Coming back to the point of replacing Abraham in the starting lineup, Lampard added, “Michy has had a lot of performances to come on lately and has made a difference in certain games but it was just a choice for this game.”

The Blues have failed to win any of their last three matches in all competitions since the international break has been over. This has also pushed them down to the fourth spot in the league table. The absence of Abraham, who has been in phenomenal form this season so far, having notched up 10 goals in 13 games for the Blues, might play a huge role in making or breaking the season for them.

Giroud has evidently failed to grab the opportunity to replace the young Englishman in the starting lineup, which might be a detriment in his path to be considered as a viable backup striker for the Pensioners. Now it is to be seen whether Lampard sticks to using the veteran Frenchman as the attacking spearhead in the next match as well or switches to Pulisic.