Why Gonzalo Higuain needs to succeed at Chelsea

Chelsea’s striker problems have seen them turn to Gonzalo Higuain, whom they have signed on loan from Juventus until the end of the season. Everyone acknowledges that the new arrival at Stamford Bridge is a fine goalscorer, but his ability to deliver in England might come under scrutiny. Strikers have rarely succeeded at Chelsea in recent years with Didier Drogba, Diego Costa, and Nicholas Anelka the exceptions. The Argentine is expected to produce what Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud have failed to do since both signed for the Blues last season.

So how exactly is Gonzalo Higuain going to fit in the Chelsea squad?

Chelsea are in need of a well-established centre forward in the ilk of Higuain. Whereas we all acknowledge that they would have preferred a young striker, Higuain is the short-term fix who has shown time and again that he is a consistent goal threat. With over 250 goals recorded across spells at Real Madrid, Napoli, Juventus, and AC Milan, the Argentine will most definitely fit that bill.

One of the criticisms that Alvaro Morata faced was his lack of physicality to play in the Premier League. Higuain has operated as a lone striker in one of the most defensive leagues in the world and succeeded. His time in the Serie A should have prepared him for the rigours of the Premier League.

Why he must succeed

Chelsea’s new number nine comes with a big reputation, one that he needs to guard jealously. Notably, he is the only player in history to have scored more than 100 league goals in both La Liga and Serie A. He will be eager to impress, knowing that his spell in the Premier League could be extended beyond the summer if Chelsea exercise their option to buy.

The move to London is an opportunity to resuscitate his career that has not gone according to plan since the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo at his parent club Juventus. He grew frustrated in Real Madrid before moving to Napoli where he flourished to earn the interest of Juventus. His time in Turin saw him score 55 goals over two seasons before everything came tumbling down in the summer.

A forced loan move to AC Milan would be his temporary transitional move before Chelsea came calling under the leadership of his former manager Maurizio Sarri. He is expected to adapt quickly; after all, he knows the system and the movements expected of a striker under this manager.

It will be interesting to see how he forges a partnership with Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s main man in terms of their creative play. It can be expected that a huge part of the decision for him to stay past the summer will depend upon how he forges a partnership with the Belgian. Will he succeed?