It is quite clear that Olivier Giroud is not entirely pleased about Didier Deschamps' decision to finally welcome Karim Benzema back to the French national team squad. He spent five years away following the explosion of the whole sex tape debacle with former teammate Mathieu Valbuena, and has only just returned to the fold in May this year.

Giroud was one of the players most affected by Benzema's return, with the AC Milan striker losing his position in the starting line-up. Now, he is saying that the entire team was thrown off-balance when the Ballon d'Or contender arrived at the scene and many adjustments had to be made.

"It was [Didier] Deschamps' will. I understand it, but I would have liked to have been warned sooner," he said, in an interview with French publication L'Equipe. He then clarified that his frustration is not necessarily directed at the player. "I have nothing against Karim, but his return to the national team created a tactical imbalance and in our way of playing. It was something evident in some games, which luckily could be fixed quickly, as could be seen in the Nations League. However, it took time."

Despite the issues that supposedly came up, France certainly looked like a better team after the Benzema's arrival. They claimed their first UEFA Nations League title earlier this year after a mediocre finish at Euro 2020.

Giroud then went on to say that his personal relationship with Benzema remains cordial. "I had no problems with Karim at the European Championship. He has changed and evolved. We ate every day at the same table."

In the end, it appears as though Benzema will be an important part of Les Bleus in the foreseeable future. Giroud will have to step up his game if he wants to continue fighting for his spot. It is not an unfamiliar situation, with him also having to compete with Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the San Siro.

Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud Reuters