Gonzalo Higuaín arrived at Stamford Bridge January in a bid to win over the fans and prove his many doubters wrong, and along the way ensure that Maurizio Sarri’s job remains safe. Safe to say, none of that has happened. Yet?
Outside of three goals against the two worst teams in the Premier League, Higuain has gone scoreless in nine other appearances, and has looked a step or three off the pace. Part of that could be chalked up to the usual growing pains of adapting to a new league, but part of that is just the harsh reality of the miles on Higuain’s legs and body. He may be making all the right moves, but not fast or strong enough.
That said, Sarri seems to believe that Higuain will still come good — he has to believe, having vouched for the striker — and Higuain has all the right intentions as well.
“I’m happy here. It’s always nice to try a new league and it’s my first taste of the Premier League. Obviously it’s a period where I’m adapting but I’m hoping that, although I’ve only got a short time, I can finish well. The best thing we can do is qualify for the Champions League and hopefully win the Europa League too.
‘We’re coming towards the end so it’s about finishing as strongly as possible. The main objective is to finish in the top four so we can play in the Champions League and also to encourage other players to come and play for the club. That’s what the squad are hoping for, so that we can add players next season, and to finish the season well and make people happy.”
The 31-year-old is hoping he’s one of those players to be added next season. He joined from Juventus on a 6-month loan in the winter, with the option to extend or make it permanent in the summer (for outrageous sums). Juve have made it pretty clear that they no longer want the albatross of the striker’s contract hanging around their necks, and Higuain himself is ready to move on as well.
He’s hoping to yet convince Chelsea of his qualities, although that decision may be out of the club’s hands depending on the status of the transfer ban, which would prevent new registrations including a loan extension.
“From a personal point of view I want to do as well as I can so I can be here for next season. That’s my intention. I came here and I wanted to stay. It’s a good city, you live well and you can be relaxed but also enjoy yourself. So my intention is to stay here.”
-Gonzalo Higuaín; source: Chelsea FC
Higuain’s going to have to finish the season very well indeed for the club to even begin to explore any potential loopholes in a possible transfer ban. He can start with a couple goals against West Ham tonight...