Despite his two-goal burst against Huddersfield Town last weekend, the jury is still out whether the signing of Gonzalo Higuaín, on loan from Juventus, by Chelsea in January will amount to as much success as head coach Maurizio Sarri, and Higuaín himself, are hoping. Reunited for the first time since Higuaín’s record-breaking season in Serie A three years ago, they will be hoping to rediscover that sort of magic at Chelsea — and not just for the sake of the club, but for the sakes of their own careers.
“I think Gonzalo is a great player. He did very well everywhere. In Madrid, in Naples, in Milan. Maybe not very well in Milan, but he’s a great player and I think he’s very useful for Eden.”
If Higuaín can rediscover the sort of touch that saw him score 36 goals in 35 matches for Napoli in 2015-16, he’s likely to not only ensure Chelsea’s top four finish, but also ensure that Sarri sees a second season and maybe even ensure his own future in convincing Chelsea to either extend the loan for another season (more likely) or take up the buy-option (less likely).
It should also ensure that Eden Hazard completes his most successful season for the club (statistically speaking) — he’s been directly involved in 22 league goals already (12g+10a); his personal record is 24 (14g+10a) from 2014-15 — and, in the most hopeful scenario, it might even ensure that he also stays beyond this season.
“[Eden and Gonzalo] are really very suitable to play together, I think. It’s very important for us that he’s determinate. I think the impact with other players [is] really very good for us.”
“I speak every day with Eden, but I speak with Eden about his position on the pitch, not about... I will be really very happy with him if he will want to stay, because in my opinion he’s the best in Europe.”
“And so I would be really very happy, but it’s up to him, I think. I want to see him happy. And so, he has to decide.”
-Maurizio Sarri; source: Football.London
Eden’s “Decision Day” may or may not bring good news, but until then, we’ll be expecting him to do his best and continue developing his promising partnership with Higuaín.