Frank Lampard has backed Olivier Giroud’s comments that he ‘doesn’t accept a bench role’ at Chelsea, but the Blues boss is aiming to convince the striker to stay at Stamford Bridge for the duration of the season.
Giroud recently expressed frustration while on international duty for France at his lack of minutes for Chelsea this season and said that he ‘will make a decision in January’ over his future.
A focus on youth this season in west London has seen Tammy Abraham establish himself as the first-choice striker in Lampard’s side and he is the joint-leading scorer in the Premier League with eight goals.
Abraham’s impact has come at the expense of Giroud, whose contract expires at the end of the season, and Lampard understands the 33-year-old’s frustration with his lack of regular game time.
"No, [we want him to stay] because at the minute, he is a big part of the squad. As I say, Tammy has been producing but I would sit down with him (Giroud) because I respect him. But no, I want him here," Lampard told reporters at Stamford Bridge.
"I have had a good chat with Oli before he went away. I always respect all the players, particularly of his age. I was in that sort of low-30s age. I love his professionalism. He was bang on when he spoke to me. He was bang on with his quotes when he was away with France.
"He shouldn't be happy and accept not playing. That's what good players do. As I said to Oli, he will get his games and be a big influence for us. At the moment, because of how Tammy is playing at the moment, there haven't been as many minutes.
"So, that will be something I will sit down happily with Oli in January but January is quite a long way away."
France manager Didier Deschamps has also echoed Giroud's concerns as Les Bleus get ready for Euro 2020 next summer when they will be ranked as one of the favourites to win the tournament.
However, Lampard has been keen to repeatedly highlight Giroud's professionalism behind the scenes in difficult circumstances and his words have been echoed by 21-year-old Abraham, who admits he is learning a lot from training alongside the World Cup winner.
"I look at Oli like an older brother," Abraham said after Chelsea's 1-0 win over Newcastle. "I'm always learning from him on the training pitch and I've grown up watching him. He's always supporting me.
"When someone's doing well and scoring goals you have to support them and that's what he is doing for me. I look at different strikers. Ollie is obviously not the fastest striker in the world, but what he has is unbelievable.
"His one-touch play, his hold-up play, his one-touch finishing, I just take those little things that I see in training. If the ball is coming into the box off the ground, his volleying and everything is on point, so you have to take those little things and add them to your game.
“I’m a visual learner. I like to watch and take people’s ideas. And add them to myself – the same with Michy [Batshuayi], he is also a great striker. For me to be training with these two players is wonderful.”
Abraham had several near misses as Chelsea had to wait until a 73rd-minute goal from Marcos Alonso to break down Newcastle's defence on Saturday afternoon and Lampard is impressed with how the England international helps the team even when he doesn't score.
Lampard said: “He has been scoring goals regularly but today was not quite the norm. What you do see with Tammy is what you get - physicality and movement. To keep trying and be a problem for the defenders. I have got nice problems up front.
"We have got Giroud and Batshuayi. I have to give them both credit because they are showing great professionalism. They are training at a level. They will get their chances as well because it is a long season.
"At the moment, Tammy, with his regular goals, has been a big part of getting us to where we have got to at the minute. He has been playing. I think he can [get even better].
"He is a sponge. He wants to listen. He wants to get better. He wants to improve his game. He wants to score more goals. He wants to help his team-mates. And so he has got a beautiful base of that in terms of coaching. So I think he has that.
"His goals and performances will show what he can do at this level. Hopefully, we can move him up the levels even more."