Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud will not be having any sentimental feelings when his side takes on Arsenal during the final of the Europa League in Baku. The Frenchman spent almost six years with the Gunners before he transferred to the Blues last January as cover for Alvaro Morata up front.
During his time with the Gunners, Giroud established himself as a fan favourite. He went on to make 180 Premier League appearances for the club, scoring 73 goals. He also helped the club to win three FA Cups under Arsene Wenger.
Giroud has struggled to earn regular game time with the Blues in the Premier League this season. During the first half of the season, Maurizio Sarri opted to play Morata over him. In January, Morata was sent out on loan to Atletico Madrid and in came Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus to act as first choice striker.
In spite of not playing regular Premier League football this season, Giroud has been a standout performer in the Europa League for the Blues as he has so far played 13 times in Europe’s second-tier club competition, scoring ten goals.
It is likely that he will be summed during the final against Arsenal. The Europa League presents Chelsea’s final opportunity to end what has been a frustrating season with something to smile about.
“I always like playing against my old teams,” Giroud told the Daily Mail. “It’s going to be tough, and it could be painful if it’s not going the right way, but you have to put the feelings and memories aside.
“I enjoyed the years I spent there. It has been a big part of my career, my first club in England and it will always be special, but now I feel my blood is blue. The same as the national team, blue suits me well.”