Chelsea today confirmed that Gonzalo Higuain’s loan with the club has ended, with the 31-year-old now set to return to Juventus.
He follows Gary Cahill, Robert Green, Eduardo and Kyle Scott all out the Stamford Bridge exit door as the Blues gear up for the new season.
“Gonzalo Higuain joined Chelsea on loan from Juventus in January. He was reunited with Maurizio Sarri after their successful time together at Napoli,” Chelsea wrote on their official club website.
“Higuain made his Blues bow in an FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday, and opened his account with two superbly-taken goals the following weekend against struggling Huddersfield.
“He netted three more times before the expiry of his loan, all sharp finishes that highlighted his natural ability in front of goal. Fulham, Burnley and Watford were his victims, and he more than played his part in our eventual third-placed Premier League finish.”
Higuain’s departure leaves Olivier Giroud, Michy Batshuayi and Tammy Abraham as the club’s realistic options for the striker position. And while not everyone will be convinced with the trio — Giroud scored just two Premier League goals last season — it was still arguably for the best.
The Argentine underwhelmed in the end, finding the back of the net on just five occasions and averaging 0.8 offsides per game — only Alvaro Morata (1.3) was a worse offender (as per WhoScored). Doubted by former Blues boss Ruud Gullit (via the BBC prior to his first game back in January) and slammed by Paul Scholes (speaking to TVN, via the Sun) for his performance against Manchester United in April, it’s fair to say the move did not work out.
Had Maurizio Sarri remained, the manager Higuain has had great success under, as highlighted by talkSPORT, things might have improved next season, with CalcioMercato claiming in May that he could have been signed despite the transfer ban.
Still, with the Italian now at Juventus, the right call looks to have been made.
Chelsea fans, should the club have kept hold of Higuain? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
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