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Chelsea get their target man in Olivier Giroud

After spending all month scrambling for a big striker, the Blues finally have their man on transfer deadline day.

Swansea City v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

After a month of searching around Europe for a big target striker, Chelsea and Antonio Conte finally have their man, signing Olivier Giroud from Arsenal for a reported £18 million on transfer deadline day.

Giroud is reported to be signing an 18-month contract with the Blues, which is an understandable bit of protection for Chelsea to take for themselves in this deal for the 31-year-old French international. While Giroud is undeniably talented, with deceptive athleticism that he uses well and a surprising passing touch, he’s also had a rough go of things with Arsenal in recent times. Arsene Wenger lost faith in him some time ago. And thanks to the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette last summer, the French striker has only earned one start and limited minutes off the bench in Premier League action this season, spending most of his time on the pitch in the Europa League.

But when Giroud is fit and in form, he can be a quality contributor. He scored 16 EPL goals in a season twice with Arsenal since joining them in 2012, the last time being just two years ago. He’s also steadily grown as an overall contributor to the attack up top since moving to England, becoming better and better at playing with his teammates in advantageous moments.

While it’s true age and injuries have sapped Giroud of some of his pace, he also was never as reliant on it as some other strikers, preferring to use positioning and touch to do his work around defenders. That exactly the kind of striker Chelsea have needed at times this season, especially with Alvaro Morata struggling for consistent form since joining last summer.

Having a proper backup for Morata has been a major need for Chelsea since it became clear early this season Michy Batshuayi wasn’t that man, and Giroud should help bring some much-needed depth and stability to Conte’s squad. With Conte’s motivation and Giroud’s desire to show he still has something to give at 31, this deal has the potential to work out quite well for Chelsea over the next year and a half.