Is there a need for Gonzalo Higuain?
Let’s face it: Chelsea’s season was disappointing and the club ended up way below its own stand...
Let’s face it: Chelsea’s season was disappointing and the club ended up way below its own standards. Many reasons for that can be found at the back with the team giving up a staggering amount of 53 goals. It is a statistic previously unheard of at Chelsea.
What about their offensive output though? A total of 59 goals is the weakest performance since scoring 53 in 1999-2000. The fallback into long forgotten times has brought up instant shouts for a new striker, such as Napoli star Gonzalo Higuain. Would he help Chelsea?
Clearly, the Argentine had an impressive year in the Serie A. With 36 goals, he broke a record for the ages, previously held by Swedish legend Gunner Nordahl from 1950 (35 goals for Milan). Take a look at it yourself though:
Furthermore, his 87% of playing time is impressive. Especially throughout his time in Italy, Higuain has avoided any serious injuries and missed a total of 6 games with thigh problems. Gonzalo Higuain is simply deadly in front of goal, a feature Chelsea could have used in many games this season. Through 427 career games, the Argentine international found the back of the net 221 times. River Plate, Real Madrid, Napoli is a résumé most footballers would not mind.
Chelsea’s top league striker was unsurprisingly Diego Costa. The Spanish Brazilian finished the Premier League year at exactly a third of Higuain’s total, 12 goals. Since they played different amounts of games, let’s calculate their minutes per goal ratio. The difference is huge: Higuain comes in at 82 minutes per goal, Costa stands at 198 minutes per goal.
Each team’s depth scoring was not much different. Napoli scored 80 goals this Serie A season and finished second, Higuain’s advantage of 24 goals over Costa’s total is pretty much exactly the gap that Chelsea was unable to close to compete at the top of the table.
Comparing further statistics of the two strikers surfaces an even bigger difference between them. Higuain collected 5.47 shots per 90 minutes, 2.5 of them on target. Then there’s Costa with 2.53 shots and just 1.06 of them on target.
Chelsea simply does not possess the same quality that a Higuain would bring to their squad. Costa is a decent striker, but surely not world class like Didier Drogba in his prime. The next best option is Loic Remy and he is definitely not someone Chelsea fans would be comfortable going into next season with after scoring a single goal in 2015-16. Whether Gonzalo Higuain would be interested in joining the Blues at all or Chelsea would be willing to pay his €95mil price tag are questions for another day. If he is available, they should think about it well and long. He would be the only top class striker they could acquire with the likes of Luis Suárez or Robert Lewandowski out of their reach and under long-term contracts.