The Argentine has made an inconsistent start to his spell at Stamford Bridge, with Craig Burley suggesting that his manager should have done more
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Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri needs to shoulder the blame for Gonzalo Higuain’s struggles in the Premier League, says former Blues midfielder Craig Burley.
Having seen Alvaro Morata toil for long periods throughout his time at Stamford Bridge, a new attacking spark was sought in the January window.
Argentine striker Higuain, with a proven record from spells at the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus, was the man identified as the perfect fit for the No.9 berth in west London.
Sarri had previously worked with the South American at Napoli and seen him become a prolific presence in Serie A.
Higuain has been unable to replicate those efforts in England, however, with three goals scored in 11 appearances to date – with those coming against lowly Huddersfield and Fulham.
Sarri has conceded that the 31-year-old is finding the going tough, but Burley claims the Italian coach should have expected as much and offered greater assistance during a period of adaptation.
The ex-Chelsea man told ESPN FC: “Sarri says that Higuain is struggling to adapt to English football, well he should have known this.
“He knows Higuain very well from Italy and he has had a good six months to suss out how football is played over here.
“By the way it isn’t chalk and cheese, it might be a little quicker here but it isn’t that much different.
“He is just not playing well and he is in a team that is not playing well.
“And if Chelsea do get in the top four or win the Europa League then it is going to paper over the cracks of the deficiencies of this manager for the long-term I think.”
Higuain could still have an important role to play for Chelsea in their domestic and continental endeavours.
Despite having already represented AC Milan in this season’s Europa League, he is not cup-tied for the latter stages and will be hoping to figure in a two-legged quarter-final clash with Slavia Prague.
He will also want to help fire the Blues towards a top-four finish in the Premier League, with just one point separating Sarri’s side from London rivals Tottenham in fourth.
They have seven top-flight fixtures left to take in, with the first of those seeing them play host to Brighton on Wednesday.