Olivier Giroud's decision to remain at Arsenal and reject interest from Everton in the summer has proved to be wildly beneficial for Arsene Wenger's side, according to Chelsea legend Frank Lampard.

Former Toffees manager Ronald Koeman recently revealed just how close he was to bringing Giroud to Finch Farm, but the £20m-rated France international ultimately opted to bat away the Dutchman's advances and fight for his place at North London.

Everton have certainly felt the full effects of Giroud's rejection – Koeman has since been relieved of his duties with the Toffees lying in the relegation zone – but the 31-year-old may also be regretting his decision to remain at Arsenal. Giroud has received just 165 minutes of Premier League action so far this season, spread over nine substitute appearances, with his only starts coming in the Carabao Cup and Europa League.

Despite his lack of game time, Lampard, who scored 210 goals during a 13-year stint with Chelsea, thinks Giroud's presence at The Emirates Stadium is invaluable to Arsenal because he can offer a more physical, direct type of offensive play that the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil cannot replicate. Giroud has long been seen as the best Plan B in the Premier League, and Lampard does not think his value can be understated at The Emirates Stadium.

"One of the best things to happen to Arsenal during the summer transfer window was Olivier Giroud staying at the club," Lampard told The Evening Standard.

"Giroud came close to joining Everton, something which has made the headlines again due to Ronald Koeman getting the sack at Goodison Park and blaming missing out on the France international as a big reason why things didn't work out this season.

"While I'm not sure if it was the be all and end all for Koeman's demise, it's already proved great business for Arsenal to have kept him. Giroud is their Plan B, he can even still be their Plan A on occasion. This is not meant to sound disrespectful. I like Giroud, he has a lot of quality.

"Importantly, he gives them a different option to the other attacking players they've got. It is a great asset to have in your squad.

"He can be a presence, hold the ball up and bring others into play, he can help Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and so on."

Arsenal's ability to keep hold of Giroud may have impressed Lampard, but his former club Chelsea will be less than impressed if the Gunners battle them for RB Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.

The former Liverpool goalkeeper's stock has gradually risen with the Bundesliga outfit in recent seasons, and ESPN claims that Arsene Wenger's men and Antonio Conte's side are both monitoring the 27-year-old, with doubts over the futures of Petr Cech, who has 18 months on his contract in north London, and Thibaut Courtois, who is in a similar situation and has also long been admired by Real Madrid.

Olivier Giroud
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