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Following Chelsea’s heaviest Premier League loss in 23 years – a 4-0 defeat away to Bournemouth – talks of a trophy might seem ill-timed. However the Blues are already in the League Cup final and could go all the way in the Europa League and FA Cup respectively.
Key to any future success will be new loan signing Gonzalo Higuain. The Argentine arrived at Stamford Bridge last month in a mega money loan deal from Italian champions Juventus after his loan to AC Milan was cancelled.
Can Higuain fire Chelsea to success this season? Read on to find out.
(Gonzalo Higuain and Maurizio Sarri have worked together before at Napoli, to great success.)
Gonzalo Higuain: A background
The 31-year-old Argentine forward found himself surplus to requirements at Juventus last summer when the Old Lady brought in Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid. In an attempt to balance the books, Juventus sent Higuain on loan to Serie A rivals AC Milan.
Initially this was seen as a major coup for AC, they were signing one of the league’s most prolific strikers. However a return of just 8 goals in 22 appearances left AC fans wondering if Higuain was past his best.
In reality, Higuain struggled at AC Milan because of his relationship with the club’s fiery manager – Gennaro Gattuso. Breaking point in the relationship between the two came back in October when Higuain missed a penalty against his former club Juventus and received a red card.
He was lambasted by Gattuso in public and in private, knocking his confidence immeasurably. Higuain is a sensitive soul and his manager’s criticism effected his on-field performances. Gattuso’s tactics also failed to get the best out of Higuain.
A reunion with his old manager Marizio Sarri should help to get the best out of Higuain. The pair worked together in 2015/2016 when Higuain scored a phenomenal 38 goals. Sarri seems to understand Higuain and how to get the best out of him, meaning he should be a success at Stamford Bridge.
(Gonzalo Higuain’s mea culpa against Juventus earlier this season.)
What are the chances of Higuain firing Chelsea to glory?
Premier League: For Chelsea to fight their way back into the Premier League betting reckoning, Higuain will need to score 38 goals in the clubs 14 remaining fixtures. Success in the Premier League is not going to happen this season for Chelsea, they are simply too far behind the top 3. Higuain’s goals could help them beat Arsenal and Manchester United to fourth spot though.
League Cup: Manchester City are Chelsea’s opponents in the League Cup Final, and althought the Citizens squad is teeming with talent, Chelsea shouldn’t hold too much fear. They have already beaten City once this season and a lethal striker could settle what should be a tight affair in the League Cup Final.
FA Cup: Chelsea have been fortunate so far in the FA Cup, drawing 2 Championship sides in the third and fourth rounds respectively. However their luck changed when they were drawn at home against Manchester United in the fifth round. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rejuvenated Manchester United currently look unstoppable, and victory for Chelsea will not be easy.
Europa League: Europe’s secondary cup competition is there for the taking for a number of teams, Chelsea included. A Round of 32 draw against Malmo seems nothing more than a formality for Maurizio Sarri’s side. If Chelsea avoid Inter Milan, Arsenal or Napoli in the next round, they can be confident of going deep in the competition.
Summary: Will Higuain be a success at Stamford Bridge?
On paper he should be. Higuain is an enormously talented footballer, and enjoyed his best ever season of goal scoring under the stewardship of the current Chelsea gaffer. However the Blues current form could scupper any success Higuain may have.
The recent 4-0 loss to Bournemouth was the heaviest defeat the club have suffered in the Premier League in 23 years. Sarri’s job at Chelsea is apparently under scrutiny after that result, and if current form continues it’s hard to foresee Sarri remaining at the club or Higuain being a success at Stamford Bridge.