Paul Merson: New Chelsea signing could keep Alvaro Morata out of the team

The Arsenal legend believes Olivier Giroud could keep Alvaro Morata out of the Chelsea FC team

Chelsea signing Olivier Giroud Photo: Chelsea TV

Paul Merson believes Olivier Giroud could start ahead of Alvaro Morata in the Chelsea team.

The defending Premier League champions signed the France international in a reported £21m deal from their bitter rivals Arsenal transfer deadline day.

Giroud has been signed to alleviate the workload placed on Morata’s shoulders and provide a different option up front for the west London side.

The 31-year-old found his first-team opportunities limited at Arsenal this season following one start and 15 substitute appearances in the Premier League.

Giroud scored 80 times in 165 league games during his five and a half seasons at Arsenal, consistently scoring goals even from the bench.

His new team-mate Morata has struggled with confidence and form over the past few months and the Spanish forward hasn’t scored in his last six appearances.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson believes Giroud could start ahead of Morata in Antonio Conte’s line-up.

“To get Giroud for that price, it’s a cup of tea, that is,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“He could keep Alvaro Morata out of the team, he really could.”

Morata has netted 10 times in 20 games in the Premier League this season following his £58m move to Chelsea from La Liga giants Real Madrid in the summer transfer window.

The defending Premier League champions are in fourth place in the Premier League table following a 3-0 loss to Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

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