Chelsea's Maurizio Sarri Hopes He Is Gonzalo Higuain's 'Football Father'

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2019

Chelsea's Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain (L) shakes hands with Chelsea's Italian head coach Maurizio Sarri (R) as he comes off as a substitute during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between Chelsea and Sheffield Wednesday at Stamford Bridge in London on January 27, 2019. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has opened up on his relationship with Gonzalo Higuain, saying the Juventus loanee needs confidence and he hopes he is his "football father."

Higuain joined the Blues on loan in January and has already flashed his tremendous potential under Sarri, who managed him to a record-breaking campaign during the Argentinian's final season at Napoli.

Sarri is hoping for more of the same at Stamford Bridge, per Goal's Nizaar Kinsella:

"I hope that I am the football father [of Higuain]. Mentally, I think that we're the same. I think that Gonzalo is suitable for my football. So the feeling is really fantastic, it is a football feeling.

"He needs confidence, first of all. He needs a very good relationship with the coach and his team-mates. Sometimes he needs a message from the coach in the press conference."

He also discussed his fit alongside star winger Eden Hazard:

Nizaar Kinsella @NizaarKinsella

Sarri on Higuain and Hazard link up: "I think that Gonzalo is a great player. He did very well everywhere, in Madrid, Naples. Maybe not very well in Milan but I think he is a great player and very useful to Eden. They are really suitable to play together." #CFC

The 31-year-old bagged his first Chelsea goals in the 5-0 win over Huddersfield Town, scoring two stunners. He was also a constant threat with his movement and showed he will need little time adjusting to Sarri's style of play.

Higuain's best football came under Sarri with the Partenopei, culminating in a record-setting 2015-16 campaign. The former Real Madrid man scored 36 goals in 35 Serie A matches, the most since Serie A was established.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Gonzalo Higuain of Chelsea FC during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge on February 2, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

He earned a move to Juventus thanks to that great campaign and was the Old Lady's top attacking weapon until the club added Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer. That move resulted in a loan switch to AC Milan for Higuain.

His time with the Rossoneri was a disappointment and was cut short in January, with the switch to Chelsea following soon after.

Per sportswriter Simon Johnson, Higuain already believes he made the right decision to move to the Blues:

Simon Johnson @sjstandardsport

#Higuain is already convinced he's made the right decision to join #cfc and is confident #Sarri can help him rediscover his best form. The correct link (this time) here: https://t.co/gKgROZ53JY

Chelsea have been looking for a top option at the striker position for some time and gambled on former Juventus star Alvaro Morata in the summer of 2017. The Spaniard couldn't deliver for the Premier League giants, however, and joined Atletico Madridย on loan in January 2019.

While there's some pressure on Higuain, the fact his predecessors struggled makes things slightly easier. He's already in a familiar situation under Sarri, and early signs would indicate he's adapting well to the English game.

His contributions will be key in Chelsea's push for a top-four finish.


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