In comments that may invite backlash from fans of former club Arsenal, Olivier Giroud has claimed that Chelsea are the top team in England.

Giroud linked up with the Blues back in January, ending a five-and-a-half-year association with the Gunners where he had been relegated as an impact substitute in the recent months leading to his exit from the club. Straight away, he won the FA Cup with Chelsea last may, a trophy he won three times with Arsenal.

Despite being a bit-part player in his last few months at the North London club, the French forward remains a popular figure with the Arsenal fans but he may have risked his cult-following status with the Gunners faithful after claiming in a recent interview that his current club Chelsea are the best team in England in recent history.

“For me, Chelsea is the top club in England, the one that has won the most titles over the last 10 years,” said the 32-year-old striker. “I am where I wanted to be. So why leave?”

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While Giroud was preferred by then Chelsea coach Antonio Conte to spearhead the Blues attack, a meager return of three goals in 20 appearances led to rumours of an immediate departure from the west London club after just half a season. In a recent interview, the World Cup winner disclosed that talks were held over a possible move to Ligue 1 giants Marseille last summer but said the discussions never reached advanced stages.

“There was contact [from Marseille] last year, but nothing really concrete this summer. It did not go as far as was claimed,” continued the French international striker. “I had just arrived at Chelsea, it was not the time to pack my bags again three months later.”

Giroud offers a different dimension to the Blues frontline compared with the Blues’ other senior striker Alvaro Morata and this is something that will be a significant advantage to Maurizio Sarri’s options depending on the type of opposition.