It has been no secret were Chelsea have been on the hunt for a new number nine in the January transfer window, and that man seems to be Gonzalo Higuain. Alvaro Morata has fallen out of favour with current manager Maurizio Sarri, and Chelsea have slumped into a poor run of form that has seen them drop out of the title race. Something we covered in a little more detail in this article.
There were a number of targets for Chelsea, however it seemed to narrow down to either Callum Wilson and Higuain fairly quickly (you can read more about that here), and from there it was a choice between the older proven scorer, or the younger player that has experience in the Premier League. It seems like Chelsea opted for the former rather than the latter.
One bonus to taking Higuain was that they were able to get him on a six month loan deal (with the option to extend this deal further), which means that if things don’t work out for the Argentine at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea can send him back to Juventus and find a more permanent solution to their problem in the summer transfer window.
That being said, what is the consensus? Will Gonzalo Higuain be a success in London? Or have his finer years passed him by? Is he a player on the decline?
How Will Higuain fit in London
Despite all of these questions, the Argentinian striker has still been bagging the goals during his loan spell with AC Milan (though this did feature a six game goal drought). He managed to rack up 6 goals in 15 games, not far shy of a goal every two games, a return that Chelsea would be more than happy with.
Another factor to consider here is that Higuain will be reunited with Sarri, the manager under which he recorded the most prolific season of his entire career, the 2015-16 campaign with Napoli. While he may have aged since then, and perhaps slowed down a touch, he has already proven that he can withstand the high pressure and high pace ‘Sarri-ball’.
While Higuain was a success in his first two years in Naples, it was upon the arrival of Sarri that he really managed to find the best form of his career. Despite being known as mentally fragile, Sarri did not hold back reportedly telling Higuain “You’re too lazy, if you don’t change your attitude, you’ll never be the best centre forward in the world.”
It seems like the striker really took this to heat, going on a tear in Serie A and scoring 36 goals in just 35 appearances – a record for the league. He would then go on to score 24 goals in his debut season with Juventus, again proving that he was a top tier talent.
Higuain should be able to fit back into Sarri’s system comfortably, and while it may take a few games for him to recover the fitness levels necessary to play effectively within that system, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Higuain notch near double digits by the end of the season. Anything more than a goal every two games would be a great return for Chelsea, as it would allow playmaker Eden Hazard to return to his preferred left wing position.
Only time will tell what impact Higuain will have at Stamford Bridge, but I feel confident in saying that Chelsea fans can look forward to the remainder of the season with him leading the line, finally with someone to replace the crater that Diego Costa left in the front of their attack.