The striker has joined the blues on a loan deal with an option to buy at the end of the season. Here we will discuss the key factors that will decide his future at Stamford Bridge!
Gonzalo Gerardo Higuain is a professional football player who hails from Argentina. He has been representing the nation for more than 10 years now. After nearly a month of intense speculations regarding this transfer, The Argentine finally agreed to a loan deal to Chelsea from Juventus. This comes just 6 months after he moved out to AC Milan on loan. He will try to reinvent his old form under the guidance of Maurizio Sarri, the same manager he has worked with when he was at Napoli.
Higuain’s professional career started at River Plate back in Argentina. His heroics for the club was quickly noticed by Real Madrid. He signed for Real Madrid for €12 million in the summer of 2007. He was an instant hit at Madrid and had three La Liga titles and 107 goals in 190 appearances under his name. Then Napoli came calling and he left on a transfer fee of €40 million for Naples. He won the Coppa Italia in the first season itself. In the 2015-16 season, he scored a total of 36 league goals and hence, ended up equaling the 87-year-old record for most goals in Italian top-flight football. In 2016, the striker moved to Juventus for €90 million. This was the highest fee paid by any Italian side ever (until Cristiano Ronaldo was signed by Juventus in 2018) and the highest within a particular league. Higuain continued to do what he does best. Pouring in goals week-in-week-out. He won two domestic doubles in his first two seasons. And when Juventus signed Ronaldo in 2018, he was loaned to AC Milan where he netted 8 goals in 22 appearances. This is pretty low as per his standards. Then in January 2019, he signed by Chelsea on loan with an option to buy for €31.3 million or extend the loan period by another year at the end of this season.
He has represented Argentina at 3 FIFA World Cups and 3 Copa Americas. And they have been runner-ups in 2014 World Cup and 2015, 2016 Copa America. Chelsea does not possess a striker that would guarantee 20-goals every season and Higuain could be just that and more. And €31.3 million is not a big ask as per the current market. Now, we will look at the key factors which could define his fate at Chelsea:
Fitness is a big concern: Premier League is a different league altogether. There are no easy games. Even a team at the bottom of the table can beat the league leaders. One needs the legs to compete in this league. And the primary reason that he failed to meet the expectations at AC Milan was his fitness. He looked way too lazy at times. He has gained a few kilograms too. If Sarri could keep him in shape and manage him well, he would definitely be back in the goals.
Adaptability to the league: A lot of players that own a prolific record in other leagues fail to impress in the Premier League. You need to be on your toes always. Higuain should hit the ground running. There will not be any trial period. If he could link-up well with Hazard, Chelsea will be a force to reckon with. He has to prove a lot of haters wrong. For a player that has scored more than 300 goals, he does not have any significant trophy like UCL or World Cup.
The Sarri-effect: Higuain enjoys a healthy relationship with Maurizio Sarri. Sarri treats him like his son. It was Sarri who got the best out of him in his days at Napoli. Sarri’s first season at Chelsea has been a mixed one until now with the unpredictability factor always there. The start was great and they were winning for fun. But in the last two-three months, the wins have been hard to come by. The question still remains. Can he reinspire the beast in Higuain?
Chelsea has been short of goals in the recent outings and there are not many strikers of the level of Higuain. This could prove to be a masterstroke signing by the Italian.