Olivier Giroud is the Europa League king at Chelsea. The Frenchman barely gets a look-in in the league but is the first choice in cup games, he has well and truly carved his niche in the Europa League. The competition is seen as an opportunity for Maurizio Sarri to rest key players for league games and field those in need of minutes; none more deserving than Giroud, who has more minutes in the Europa League (669) than in the league (663). The striker, alongside the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Andreas Christensen, have made the European competition theirs and are thriving.

Eden Hazard says he’s the best target man in the world and most suitable striker for his game; but Sarri rather starts Alvaro Morata and latterly Gonzalo Higuain in the league, offering the 32-year-old cameo appearances at best. He hasn’t started a league game since December and this statistical analysis outlines his impact in Europe’s second-tier competition.

Attacking Threat

Giroud’s perfect hat trick against Dynamo Kyiv was notched on the same day he was lauded as ‘too important’ to be dropped by the France coach, who ignores Alex Lacazette and Wissam Ben Yedder. He poses a big physical presence in the attack; a handful for defenders with his superb layoffs which are a delight for midfielders to play off of him, a famous heading ability and a wonderful left foot.

via whoscored.com

The Europa League top scorer boasts nine goals in nine games, scoring every 74 minutes. He averages one goal per game from 3.7 shots and makes 1.3 key passes. He has two assists to his name and has created three big chances so far in this Europa League campaign

What about his passing?

Olivier Giroud averages 75.8% accurate passes from 20.2 passes per game. 0.3 long balls and 0.1 through balls each game indicate a striker who is ready to feed off-the-ball-runners.

via whoscored.com

Other contributions

There’s more to Olivier Giroud’s game beyond scoring goals and dominating lesser Europa League opponents, he is a focal point of the attack and contributes in other ways to help the team.

via sofascore

As such, he wins 20% of his tackles per game and makes 0.2 clearances. The striker completes 0.2 (29%) successful dribbles and wins 3.3(43%) duels per game, with 1.8 successful aerial duels won per game.
He committed 1.3 fouls which show his commitment to the cause and has been fouled 0.8

Conclusion

Olivier Giroud is seeing little playing time in the Premier League but deservedly thrills in the Europa League, where he tops the scoring charts. His prowess is being harnessed in Europe’s second-tier competition and his numbers speak of a player who is thriving, despite missing another seven chances.

The big striker stamped his dominance of the competition with his seventh career hat trick last time out (amazingly, the GOATs have eight in the Champions League alone); to remind of his quality as he continues to lead Chelsea’s charge for the Europa League crown and ultimate Champions League qualification