This article forms part of our Total Duds feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at a player who disappointed after being signed, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to illustrate how ill-judged the transfer decision has been.
To be fair to Maurizio Sarri, at least he recognised that Chelsea had issues with their striking options. Having sold Diego Costa in Antonio Conte’s final season, his replacement Alvaro Morata joined with limited success, while Olivier Giroud was very much a bit-part player and arguably past his best.
If the Blues were to challenge for honours, they needed a proven goalscorer.
And in fairness once again, Sarri went and got one. The Italian had past success with Gonzalo Higuain at Napoli, with the Argentinian netting 36 Serie A goals in 2015/16, before helping power Juventus to successive Scudetto triumphs.
So grabbing the hitman on loan had looked a wise move on paper, though it hardly worked out for the ex-Real Madrid man.
Though it says a lot about Higuain’s time at Stamford Bridge that despite Chelsea’s inability to spend money in the upcoming summer, they declined the opportunity to sign the striker on a permanent deal.
That decision looks to have been the correct one thanks to the success Tammy Abraham has enjoyed so far this year – though it was hardly a difficult one to make considering Higuain’s measly return of five goals, especially given that it would have cost £31.3m to keep him at Stamford Bridge.
Despite returning to Italy, it does appear that Higuain has lost his scoring touch, with just four goals so far in Serie A, having started eight of Juventus’ 13 games under Sarri this season.
In hindsight, it seems his Blues spell was doomed from the start – and Chelsea must surely be thanking their lucky stars that they were not left to rue paying a sizeable sum for the player while still being able to have a relatively successful season.
So while Chelsea’s striking woes look to be behind them, it seems difficult to deny that Higuain made them momentarily worse during his brief West London spell.
Should Giroud leave Chelsea?
Chelsea fans, what went wrong for Higuain at Stamford Bridge? Let us know your thoughts below!
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