Gonzalo Higuain scored his first two Chelsea goals in the Blues’ thumping win over Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge. The Argentine signed on loan from Juventus after an unsuccessful time at AC Milan in the opening six months of the 2018/19 campaign.
Higuain has linked up with his former coach at Napoli at Maurizio Sarri in an attempt to guide the club back into the Champions League next season. The Blues are locked in a battle with Manchester United and Arsenal for the final spot in the top four of the Premier League.
Chelsea are 12 points off the pace of leaders Liverpool and unless something incredible happens they are highly unlikely to be lifting the top-flight trophy come the end of the season highlighted in their odds in the sporting betting section of the Mr Green App. The Blues are a long way off the team that lifted the crown in the 2016/17 season, but the next few months will be an important part of building for the future.
The connection between Higuain and Eden Hazard will be the vital factor in retaining their place in the top four. In Chelsea’s previous runs to the top-flight crown in recent history, Hazard has pulled the strings in the final third, opening up room for Diego Costa to fire in the decisive goals. Since the departure of Costas, the Blues have not had the option in and around the box to score the 20 goals needed to turn the team into title challengers.
Alvaro Morata has been a high-price failure, lacking the clinical edge to thrive in the Premier League. Olivier Giroud was signed last January, but it appears that his best days at the highest level are behind him. At the least the Frenchman is unsuited for Chelsea’s style, proving how important the addition of Higuain will be through the middle of the line.
Under Sarri, the Argentine enjoyed the best season of his career in the 2015/16 campaign. He scored 36 goals in 35 Serie A appearances, although it was still not enough to break Juventus’ stranglehold of Italian football. Higuain maintained his standards after his move to the Bianconeri before being loaned to Milan following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo. The 31-year-old lacked form and didn’t appear to be a fit for Gennaro Gattuso’s men and the decision to rekindle his relationship with his former coach is a sensible option at this stage of his career.
Chelsea’s primary issue this season has been their lack of presence in the box. Time and again crosses have been played into the penalty area and there has been no striker gambling on deliveries or making runs into the inside channels for Hazard, Willian and Pedro to exploit.
He offers the clinical edge that Morata does not and the ability to break in behind defences that Giroud at this stage of his career fails to provide. In only his second game, the connection between the Argentine and Hazard bore fruit against Huddersfield as the Blues responded to their shocking defeat to Bournemouth. Higuain’s form could be the difference between Champions League football and the Europa League for Sarri’s men next term.