Friday, August 23, 2019

Gonzalo Higuain has been a major failure at Chelsea

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 15 Apr 2019

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On Sunday afternoon, Chelsea suffered a blow in the fight for Champions League spots as the Blues suffered a 2-0 defeat at league leaders Liverpool.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri started the game with Eden Hazard as a false number nine. The tactic worked okay in the first half, but in truth, the Blues attack was anaemic, with only Hazard looking capable of threatening the home defence.

Jurgen Klopp’s side struck twice in the space of two minutes in the first ten minutes of the second half. With the Blues needing a goal, Sarri summoned Gonzalo Higuain from the substitutes bench.

The Argentinian held the ball up fine. However, he never really threatened the Liverpool goal enough to get the Blues back in the game. In the second period, once again only Hazard looked a threat to the league leaders, as the 28-year-old missed two golden opportunities.

Not starting a big game summed up Higuain’s Chelsea career

It would be harsh to criticise Higuain for his cameo at Anfield, as the Blues were not great going forward anyway. The bigger issue I have is that his boss did not see him as good enough to start such a big game. The fact that the Italian was attempting to be pragmatic may have played a part in the decision.

However, a Higuain at the peak of his powers would have started the game. The striker would have been a major attacking threat against the majority of defences at his best. He has after all terrified defences in Spain and Italy for over a decade.

The defences of the Premier League have definitely not faced Higuain at anywhere near his best. In fact, it is a sad sight seeing the French-born striker producing such limp displays after watching him in his prime.

Chelsea will not sign Higuain on a permanent basis

The south west London club have been banned from signing players for the next two windows. The Blues have already seen an appeal against the ban rejected, but are waiting to hear the result of their latest appeal.

Even if Chelsea’s transfer ban is overturned, it looks highly unlikely that the Blues will sign Higuain on a permanent deal this summer. Boss Sarri is an admirer of the former Napoli striker from the pairs time together in Naples.

However, his performances have certainly not justified a permanent move to the Blues in the summer. The 31-year-old has featured in ten Premier League games and scored just three times.

Two of his goals were against Huddersfield and the other was against Fulham, both teams already relegated from the top-flight. That means that the striker has failed to score in eight of his ten Premier League appearances for Chelsea.

Chelsea may struggle to make the top-four this season

Never mind Higuain’s future at Chelsea being in doubt, his boss’s future at the Premier League club is also at risk if they fail to qualify for the Champions League for next season. The Blues are currently odds of 11/8 to make the top-four.

The Italian has enjoyed an unconvincing reign at Chelsea so far. The fact he brought in familiar faces like Jorginho and Higuain, and the team has struggled has not helped his situation.

Higuain’s future is now unclear. The experienced striker enjoyed a decent spell on-loan at AC Milan for the first half of the campaign. However, it seems the transition to a new league has been too much for the experienced striker.

It is not usually for players to thrive in other leagues, only to flop like a jellyfish on a wet mattress in the Premier League. Wherever Higuain’s future lies, it seems highly unlikely that he will be plying his trade in the English top-flight next season.

Where will Gonzalo Higuain be plying his trade next season?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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