Cape Town - Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud says he sympathises with team-mate Gary Cahill and his lack of playing time under manager Maurizio Sarri this season.
The 32-year-old has only played 21 minutes of competitive football so far this campaign, having come off the bench in the goalless draw with West Ham on Sunday, and Giroud admits the England international is in a difficult position, but hopes he will stay at Stamford Bridge nonetheless.
"We have a lot of good players who can play in the starting XI," Giroud told the press after the 0-0 draw with the Irons.
"The problem is we have four or five centre-backs and the coach made his choice.
"Gary is not in a good position because it is quite tough for him, he doesn't play so much. I understand that he wants to play more. At one stage I was the same and I didn't like that. As players, we are happy when we are on the pitch."
"I think his heart is still in Chelsea and hopefully we will keep him because we need him," Giroud added. "He needs to be happy, that is the main thing, but I hope he stays because he is important for us.
"He is a very good player. He's been at Chelsea for six years, he is one of the faces of Chelsea and one of our captains. We need him."