Giroud calls time on Milan career: His legacy and the need to replace him

By Oliver Fisher -

Olivier Giroud has confirmed that he will be leaving AC Milan at the end of the season when his contract ends, bringing an end to a three-year spell at the club.

Giroud confirmed yesterday in an emotional interview with Milan TV that the last two matches of the season against Torino and Salernitana will be his final ones for Milan, then he will move to the USA.

While waiting for those games you can check out ThePokies, but it is also important to remember just what the Frenchman has brought to the club and to give him a fitting send-off.

The big game man

In the almost three seasons with Milan, Giroud has so far scored 48 goals and provided 19 assists in 130 games. He still has 180 minutes of play to get to the nice round numbers of 50 goals and 20 assists, which will no doubt be one of his aims.

The 37-year-old provided big goals and a lot of experience which certainly played a part in the resurgence of the last couple of seasons, which culminated in the 2021-22 Scudetto and the Champions League semi-final last season.

We picked out nine of his best moments during a recent feature, which included the decisive goals against Inter and Napoli in the Scudetto season, the latter in the UCL run last season and the brace to clinch the league title against Sassuolo.

There was also the outpouring of emotion after lifting the trophy, his clean sheet against Genoa after being called upon as an emergency goalkeeper and many other important memories.

The chance to leave on a high

In his interview with Milan TV, Giroud admitted that the main focus for him is on ending the season in the right way, a campaign that has been more difficult than hoped.

“I will play my last two matches at Milan, then I will continue my career in MLS. I am very proud of everything I have done for Milan in these three years, but the right time has come to say it. My story with Milan ends this year but Milan will remain in my heart forever,” he said.

“I gave everything for this shirt and I want to finish the season well. I’m very competitive and that’s why I hoped to leave with a trophy. This year, winning the title was very difficult, because Inter have had a great campaign, but in Europe, yes, there is regret. I was devastated when we lost to Roma.

“Against Roma we played below our level. There was frustration, I was devastated after that match because I wanted to bring another trophy to Milan. I hope that Milan, even when I leave, will still win. I will always be a Milan fan and he will always remain in my heart.

“The last home game I will be very emotional but I want to finish well, I want to thank the fans. The fans of Milan welcomed me very well. I couldn’t dream of a first year like this, with the Scudetto, and all the fabulous emotions we experienced together.”

The need to replace

Milan are looking for a new striker to replace Giroud this summer, someone who he can pass the baton to and who can lead the line for years to come.

There have been links with Joshua Zirkzee of Bologna and Benjamin Sesko of RB Leipzig, while Jonathan David is once again rising in the estimations of the Milan management because they see him as an ‘opportunity’.

When you consider what Giroud gave in his three years and the fact he arrived for €1m, the asking price for Zirkzee and Sesko seems eye-watering. The management, though, know they must invest and invest well.

Tags AC Milan Olivier Giroud
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