According to various reports over the past day or so, Chelsea will attempt to reunite manager Maurizio Sarri with his former attacking prodigy Gonzalo Higuaín at Stamford Bridge in the upcoming transfer window. This is despite Chelsea rejecting the notion in the summer already due to Higuaín’s wage and age (31), neither of which have changed for the better.
Sky Sport Italia claim #CFC want Gonzalo Higuain to interrupt his #ACMilan loan six months early, sending Alvaro Morata in his place https://t.co/LNiMVfdcTB #Juventus #Argentina pic.twitter.com/CnamCL4Tjw— footballitalia (@footballitalia) December 20, 2018
Sarri and Higuaín worked together in 2015-16 at Napoli, which was the coach’s first season there and the player’s last. Under Sarri’s tutelage, Higuaín turned into a proper goalscoring machine with 38 goals in 42 appearances earning him a €90m move to Juventus.
Since Sarri’s arrival at Chelsea, rumours of a reunion have been ever-present, especailly after Higuaín was made expendable by Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at Juve. The rumours have persisted even after Higuaín joined AC Milan on loan (including a hefty £16m loan fee), and while the Rossoneri are unlikely to pick up his buy option for twice as much, they are also unlikely to let go of him in January, as confirmed by Milan head coach Gennaro Gattuso today.
“I do not know [about any potential swap for Morata]. We’re keeping hold of Higuain and, in recent years, Chelsea have not bought players aged 30 or 31.”
A potential swap for Morata has been mooted by the creative rumour-mongers, but the negative financial impact (losing Morata’s remaining value for a short-term albatross of a contract and massive buyout) would surely rule that out in an of itself, and that’s before we consider that Higuaín hasn’t exactly lit the scoreboard on fire — 7 goals in 17 appearances (1450 minutes) is essentially the same as Morata’s 7 in 21 (1319 minutes).
“Higuain is going through a difficult moment, like the whole team, but I treasure him a lot. I have no doubts about him. We have to put our players in a position to play well and express their full potential.
“Right now, we are struggling with our midfielders, who cover the pitch but are unable to supply quality balls forward. Our problem is not Higuain.”
-Gennaro Gattuso; source: Goal
Even if you believe that Higuaín could rekindle the magic of three years ago under Sarri, when you consider all the factors, this would be a terrible, extremely short-term (yet also uncomfortably long-term with his contract good through 2021 still) solution to the problem that would only exacerbate the negative domino effect of choosing Fernando Torres Mk.II last summer.