Thomas Tuchel has insisted ‘no decision’ has been made over the future of Olivier Giroud at Chelsea as it is ‘too soon’ to do so.
The Frenchman’s current contract is due to expire at the end of the campaign and if no new deal is agreed before then, Giroud will become a free agent.
Giroud has started in three of Tuchel’s first five Premier League matches and scored the opening goal in Monday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle to take his goal tally in all competitions to 10.
And though Tuchel hailed the player as a ‘key figure’ in his team, he conceded no decision has been reached over if he will still be at Chelsea beyond this campaign.
‘No decision has been made because it’s too soon to make these decisions, too soon in the season,’ said the German manager.
‘I don’t have enough time to make these decisions because I just started three weeks ago, and we need more time to get to know the group better and better.
‘Everybody deserves more time to show their value to the group. What I can say until now is that I am super happy that he is here. He is one of the top strikers in the box.
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‘He is physically strong, he has an incredible first touch when he takes balls directly on the volley. He is very, very strong at that.
‘He is very strong at headers. He had an amazing game against Newcastle. He is very strong, very, very positive in training. This is very impressive.
‘And right now he plays a key role in this squad, where a lot of young offensive players play.
‘He is a key figure. Maybe not because he plays 96 minutes every three days, but the way he behaves and with his experience on a daily basis.
‘He has a huge impact in the most positive way we can wish and this is what I am saying. ‘I am very happy he is here and from there, on we go. When the decision arrives, we will make it. But, like I said, it is too soon.’