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Despite failing to get regular game time in the Premier League this season, Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has been outstanding in the Europa League this season.

The France international took his tally in Europe this season to 10 goals in Thursday’s 4-3 victory over Slavia Prague at Stamford Bridge.

Giroud scored four in six games in the group stage of the Europa League. The 32-year-old bagged a goal in each tie against Malmo earlier in the knockout rounds before grabbing a hat-trick away in Kiev in the round of 16.

Giroud’s ten goals in the Europa League this season means the France international joins Lionel Messi as the joint-leading scorer in European competition this season.

Messi took his tally in Europe to ten following his brace in Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Manchester United at Camp Nou.

Photo: Standard Sport

Despite Giroud’s good form in Europe, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has preferred Gonzalo Higuain in the Premier League.

Former Chelsea boss Glenn Hoddle is surprised at Sarri’s decision to prefer Higuain in the Premier League and believes every Chelsea fan except Maurizio Sarri knows the importance of Giroud to the team.

“Giroud is class, and he gives Chelsea a focal point and allows Hazard to play off a focal point, which is important,” Glenn Hoddle told BT Sport. “I think everyone in this stadium knows that bar Sarri.

“Higuain looks as if he’s thinking about things before he’s even going to get a shot off. He’s a little bit slower than he was in yesteryear, he was a fantastic striker, don’t get me wrong. He looks like he should be in better shape than when he arrived, but for me he looks actually a little bit in less good shape, he looks as if he’s put a bit of weight on since he’s been here.

“Perhaps he’s been in the gym too much, I don’t know.”

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