EPL

Should Chelsea FC Sign Gonzalo Higuaín?

Gonzalo Higuain of SSC Napoli during the Serie A match between Frosinone Calcio and SSC Napoli at Stadio Matusa on January 10, 2016 in Frosinone, Italy.
Should Chelsea FC Sign Gonzalo Higuaín?

It’s rather clear there are questions that still need to be answered at Stamford Bridge.

While Chelsea FC’s successor to recently ousted José Mourinho has yet to be chosen, Guus Hiddink—the interim replacement—has attempted to galvanize the Blues following the club’s underwhelming start.

Hiddink has managed to earn two wins and three draws through five matches, earning a +5 goal differential with Chelsea averaging nearly two goals per contest. Despite the increase in goal-scoring, Chelsea is still only averaging 1.33 goals on the year, with a -3 goal disparity in league play.

A key influence of these numbers is the play of controversial striker Diego Costa. Over the course of the 2014-15 season, the Brazilian-born, Spanish international netted 20 goals.

Amidst being plagued by injury and noticeably falling out of favor with Mourinho this season, Costa had notched only four goals through over 15 club matches during Mourinho’s reign this season. However, since Hiddink took over, the turbulent striker has scored four goals to go with an assist.

But is counting on a possibly reformed, healthy Diego Costa enough to prevent the club from pursuing the signature of other strikers before the close of the January transfer window?

Of course, rumors have discussed the possibility of the Blues signing plenty of names, but one of the most intriguing is Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuaín.

To this point, the 28-year-old Argentine has logged a similar amount of playing time to Costa this year, but has generated a higher amount of success to this point.

 

Higuaín: Games: 19, Minutes: 1,597; Goals Scored: 0.95/game, Chances Created: 1.32/game, Total Shots: 5.11/game, Accuracy: 57%, Attacking Score: 51.16

Costa: G: 17, Min: 1,448; GS: 0.35/game, CS: 1/game, TS: 2.18/game, ACC: 50%, AS: 14.93

Statistics according to Squawka.com

 

With Mourinho out, Costa seems to have woken up, and it’s clear that Hiddink has taken notice. However, this has only taken place over a five-game span. Meanwhile, Higuaín’s form has statistically been more consistent to this point in the year, leading Serie A in goals with 18 to this point.
It’s a tough decision, until one factors in both the financial hit (which, under owner Roman Abramovich, can be argued as a non-issue) and the fact Chelsea has yet to name a manager of the future.
According to Metro’s Mark Brus, the move for Higuaín would cost Chelsea “around £37.5million.” In fact, per the report, the move for Higuaín may be contingent upon Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone coming to West London to be appointed as Chelsea’s manager.
Should they manage to land Simeone, the move for Higuaín suddenly makes sense. Still, in Chelsea’s typical starting lineup, there is only one attacker heading the lineup, so there would be contention for playing time between the two (For those wondering, Loïc Rémy would have to be ‘offloaded’ before any striker purchases).
If Simeone were to arrive and implement his current formation (4-4-2), then the issue would be resolved.
Essentially, adding Higuaín would be a wise move if-and-only-if Diego Simeone were to become the team’s new long-term manager. Otherwise, it would make sense to allow a rejuvenated Costa to function in his role alone for the time being.

 

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Kaelen Jones is a sophomore student majoring in sports journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University. He is a contributor at The Stoppage Time, a staff writer at HouseOfSparky.com and is the host and producer of "The Scoop!" on the IMG Radio Network.

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