Have Chelsea Missed a Trick Not Signing Higuaín?

Source: Gonzalo Higuain via Facebook 

Chelsea were said to be interested in the capture of Gonzalo Higuaín this summer, but the striker has stayed in Serie A and joined AC Milan. The Argentine hitman has been one of the most prolific strikers in Europe over his glittering career, and could have been just what the Blues needed to fire them back to the top of the Premier League table. It seems that new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri may have missed a trick in not snapping up his former player.

After the stunning acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus this summer, Higuaín was deemed surplus to requirements at the Allianz Stadium. The Euro 2016 winner will lead the line for the Old Lady, and Higuaín’s game time could have been diminished if he had stayed with the Serie A champions. When Ronaldo made the move to Juve, many clubs anticipated that Higuaín would become available. But it was Milan who got their man. The San Siro club secured the player’s services on a season-long loan deal with the option to buy next summer.

Milan have been in desperate need of a red-hot forward after only managing to notch 56 goals in the league last term. Now, with Higuaín in their ranks, Gennaro Gattuso’s men will be expected to challenge to reclaim their place in the Champions League. The Red and Blacks are still outsiders for the title, but Higuaín can be backed at 10/1 in the Serie A betting to top the scoring charts.

Higuaín is a proven scorer in the Italian top flight, and bagged 40 goals in 73 league appearances for Juventus during his time there. But it was at Napoli where the 30-year-old enjoyed the greatest form of his career. The three-time La Liga winner joined the Blues from Real Madrid in 2013, and spent three seasons at the Stadio San Paolo. Higuaín scored 71 goals in 103 league showings, and had his best campaign under the management of Sarri in 2015-16. During that season he scored 36 times, equalling the record for most goals scored in an Italian top-flight season set by Gino Rossetti 87 years previously.

When Sarri joined Chelsea this summer, many fans expected the 59-year-old to rekindle his relationship with the striker who had been so devastating for him before. The Blues have been in need of a consistent frontman after the loss of Diego Costa, with the Spaniard’s replacement Alvaro Morata failing to live up to his price tag last time out. Higuaín could have been the perfect fit at Stamford Bridge with his experience, technical ability, and poacher’s instincts. Instead, it looks likely that Morata will continue to lead the line for Chelsea, with Olivier Giroud providing an alternative.

Sarri will want to make his mark quickly in the Premier League, and he will be expected to have Chelsea challenging for the title again. Adding a deadly striker like Higuaín would have boosted this cause significantly, and it could turn out that the new manager will regret not signing the prolific forward.