Olivier Giroud’s escape route from his Chelsea purgatory after failing to land January transfer

It is March 18 at the Allianz Arena and Chelsea need a goal with five minutes remaining against Bayern Munich. The ball lands in front of Olivier Giroud, just on as a substitute, and he clinically finds the net to send Frank Lampard’s team into the Champions League quarter-finals.

Doesn’t seem so far fetched any more, does it?

The Blues’ decision to not allow the 33-year-old depart this month may have been criticised from a number of different angles but owing to their failure to bring in a new face it is an eminently sensible decision to keep him at Stamford Bridge.

Now the outstanding question is how much of a role Giroud can play for the remainder of the campaign. Chelsea are fighting on three different fronts and, as Lampard has said all along, he will be needed at some point.

When and how often remains to be seen but considering that he has trained well all month despite such doubts over his future indicates that he will not be simply jettisoned to the Under-23s until his contract expires at the end of June.

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Lampard and his backroom staff have been impressed by his commitment and professionalism and it would not be a complete surprise to see him involved in crucial games entering the business end of the season.

“Olivier Giroud in this window has been incredible as a professional and as a man,” the head coach said earlier today.

“We all know that there has been interest and I have sat here in every press conference and said ‘if its right for Olivier, for myself and the club’ and he has been impeccable in that period. I have got huge respect for him for that and as a player. The answer again is no. Will he leave? No.”

More than half a dozen clubs across Europe had shown a keen interest in signing the former Arsenal man but Chelsea’s policy had been clear from the outset. Giroud would only be allowed to leave if a new attacker had…