Gonzalo Higuain officially transfers to Chelsea: Grading the loan move
The 31-year-old striker finally joins the Blues from Italy
Argentina international striker Gonzalo Higuain is on the verge of signing with Premier League club Chelsea. The club's manager Maurizio Sarri said on Wednesday in a press conference that the striker would sign for the clubs in hours, ending his loan at AC Milan to join the London-based club. The team made the move official Wednesday. It's expected to be a loan move with a chance to make it permanent if he impresses. Now, let's grade the move:
The move for Chelsea
On paper, it makes perfect sense. There isn't a big transfer fee behind it as it is a loan. He starred under Sarri at Napoli, and when in form he is one of the better club strikers in Europe. Higuain is a guy that at minimum should give you 20 goals a season. Over the last five seasons, he's averaged 29.2 goals per campaign, and the Blues really need a striker. Alvaro Morata hasn't worked out, and reports suggest he's heading to Atletico Madrid. With the inconsistent play up top, Eden Hazard has been forced to play as a false nine. This move will give the Belgium winger the chance to play more naturally out wide and let Higuain sit in the box to put the ball away.
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The move for Higuain
I love this move for Higuain, because things just weren't working at Milan. He has eight goals in 22 games, and Milan hasn't been playing very well. The club is nothing like it used to be when it dominated Europe, dealing with financial issues in the past, inconsistency in coaching and the failure to find chemistry in its starting lineup.
The move for Milan
They get to end the loan deal and save money. They are probably better with him than without him. The club is in fourth place in Serie A but far from where it wants to be. Reports out of Italy suggest the club is on the verge of signing young striker Krzysztof Piątek of Genoa to lead the front-line instead of Higuain. Twenty-eight goals in 20 matches thus far in league play tell the story as to how the club has struggled in attack. They have 18 league games remaining to hang on to a top-four spot and book a ticket to next season's Champions League.
The move for Juventus
I still can't help but think Higuain could help Juventus. Having Higuain as the No. 9 with Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala on either side, to me it would be unstoppable. But Ronaldo has taken over the striker role with Mario Mandzukic at times, and if it ain't broke ... you probably don't need to fix it. Juve is undefeated in league play, looking strong in the Champions League and seem to be doing just fine without him. Sending him out again on loan and hoping to find a buyer for the 31-year-old come this summer seems like the smartest move at this point.
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