Olivier Giroud’s evergreen form has made a big impression upon Kai Havertz at Chelsea.
Germany international Havertz joined a star-studded squad at Stamford Bridge for the 2020-21 season after a busy and productive transfer window for head coach Frank Lampard.
But it is one of the existing, experienced stars who has made the 21-year-old sit up and take note.
Unperturbed by the arrival of Havertz’s international colleague Timo Werner and the ongoing development of England youngster Tammy Abraham, Giroud has proved he is still hugely valuable to the Chelsea cause.
The 34-year-old, who is second on France’s list of all-time top scorers with 44, had to bide his time waiting for a Premier League start this season, but Lampard could no longer ignore his claims after he pilfered all four in a 4-0 Champions League win over Sevilla at the start of this month.
Giroud kept his place for last weekend’s visit of Leeds United and he did not disappoint, scoring the equaliser in a 3-1 win – becoming the first Chelsea player since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in 2001 to score in six consecutive starts in England’s top flight.
“The one who really impressed me is Olivier Giroud,” Havertz told Sky Deutschland. “I wouldn’t have expected that before. He’s an amazing player.
“Playing with him as a striker is just fun. It is not for nothing that he holds records in the French national team.
“He has a lot of games and a lot of goals under his belt. He’s also a great guy as a person.
“Basically it’s great fun in the group because the quality is very high everywhere.”
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 5, 2020
Giroud has seven goals in 12 appearances across all competitions this season.
Five of those have come in the Champions League, making Giroud the joint second-highest scorer in the competition alongside Alassane Plea and Ciro Immobile and behind the quartet of Alvaro Morata, Marcus Rashford, Erling Haaland and Neymar on six.
Of players to have scored three or more goals in this season’s competition, none can boast a better goals-per-minute ratio than Giroud’s frequency of finding the net every 28.4 minutes.
From that sample of players, he also boasts the best shot conversion rate, dispatching 62.5 per cent of his attempts to shade Juventus’ former Chelsea striker Morata (60 per cent).
Giroud is noted for his aerial prowess and his two headed goals in the Champions League are a season’s best in the group stage alongside Morata and Karim Benzema.