Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has leaped
into the defence of Gonzalo Higuain amid his struggles during the opening two
matches for the club. The Argentine joined the Blues on a temporary deal from
Juventus during the backend of the January transfer window and he has since
started against Sheffield Wednesday and Bournemouth without any success.
As such, a section of the Blues faithful
have already questioned the signing of the Argentine but Sarri, who has
previously managed the striker at Napoli, has urged for patience with the
marksman, he said: “He is still not at top fitness and it shows, coming
back from injury last month and the market meant he did not train well. He has
to find his best condition.”
The Blues have had a genuine weakness in
the striking department this term with neither Alvaro Morata nor Olivier Giroud
sufficiently impressing during the first half of the campaign. Due to this, the
west London giants were recommended by Sarri personally to recruit Higuain but
so far, the move has not borne fruit with the 31-year-old yet to adjust to the
demands of English football.
Still, the Italian tactician remains confident that the striker can find his scoring boots and he has the perfect chance to do when a struggling Huddersfield Town make the west London trip this weekend. The Terriers are winless since beating Wolverhampton Wanderers during the month of November and they are widely fancied to succumb another defeat with the Blues expected to provide a strong response after the midweek embarrassment at Bournemouth.
The Capital outfit suffered a shock and
unexpected 4-0 loss at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday night and the outcome
has dropped them from the fourth position on the table on the goals scored to
Arsenal. The margin of defeat was the Blues’ worst of the Premier League era.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is likely to rotate his squad for this afternoon’s game against Swansea City with Sunday’s clash with Liverpool in mind.
Ashley Cole could be recalled at left-back, while Michael Essien is available after serving a one-match suspension.
The Blues are currently in fourth place, and sit two points behind leaders Liverpool, who themselves face third place Manchester City this evening while second place Arsenal travel to West Ham United.
Anything other than three points for Chelsea may could see the slip out of the top four with Everton hot on their heels.
Meanwhile, Mourinho is lining up a £48m move for Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain, according to the Mirror.
The pair worked together for three years at Real Madrid before both moved on to pastures new in the summer.
The Argentina international has been in fine form since joining Rafael Benitez’s side, scoring thirteen goals in twenty-one appearances in all competitions.
However, the Serie A side are reportedly willing to do business as it would secure them a quick profit of around £13.5m.
Only Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi scored more goals than the 26 year old during qualification for next summer’s World Cup finals, and will be keen to continue impressing with the tournament in Brazil fast approaching.
Tags: Arsenal, Ashley Cole, Everton, Gonzalo Higuain, Lionel Messi, Liverpool, Luis Suarez, Manchester, Michael Essien, Napoli, Swansea City
Gonzalo Higuain will reject a move to the Premier League to stay with Real Madrid, the Metro understands.
Chelsea are reported to have entered the race to sign the striker, who has been a target for London rivals Arsenal since the end of last season.
Manager Jose Mourinho worked with the Argentina international for three years at the Bernabeu, and is said to be keen on being reunited with the 25 year old.
Serie A side Napoli are also keen on signing Higuain, though his agent Enzo Bronzetti believes that is also unlikely, claiming that Real boss Carlo Ancelotti will convince the player to stay in the Spanish capital.
Meanwhile, Manchester United manager David Moyes has reiterated that Wayne Rooney is not for sale amid continued speculation that the England international is set to move on, according to Sky Sports.
The 27 year old is reportedly ‘angry and confused’ at comments made by Moyes that suggest that he is merely a backup to Robin Van Persie.
Elsewhere, Brazilian full-back Wallace is set to be loaned out this season.
The 19 year old was signed by the Blues back in January, before being immediately loaned back to Fluminese before joining up with Jose Mourinho’s side for pre-season training.
Roma are said to be interested in the defender, which could benefit Chelsea in their pursuit of midfielder Daniele de Rossi.