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Chelsea will regret not trusting Gonzalo Higuain to come good next season

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

As confirmed by the club’s official website, Gonzalo Higuain will be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer following an underwhelming short-term loan last season.

What’s the word?

After struggling for form and goals since arriving in the January transfer window, it was perhaps no surprise to see the Blues opting not to make the Argentine’s stay permanent.

Indeed, according to Goal, Chelsea had the option to pay €18m (£16m) to extend Higuain’s loan for a further twelve months whilst €36m (£32.16m) would have been enough to have signed him outright.

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But with just five goals in 14 Premier League games, the striker – who is valued at £31.5m by Transfermarkt – leaves Stamford Bridge with no real sense of being missed in west London.

Time and patience

In this modern world of instant success and ruthlessness, nothing perhaps symbolises that more than Chelsea’s decision on Higuain. A proven Champions League goalscorer with Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus, Higuain has been allowed to leave by a club facing the prospect of a two-window transfer ban, despite only having six months to prove his worth.

The veteran forward evidently struggled with the pace and intensity of Premier League football, but at 31, that was to be expected. However, his five goals in the league were all finishes of a clinical marksman and it was his instinctive and unerring strikes that separate him from the other options at Chelsea’s disposal.

Olivier Giroud is an elite target man, Tammy Abraham has shown plenty of promise with his pace and movement and Michy Batshuayi remains a talented enigma. But none of them have shown any signs of being regarded as a prolific goal-scorer; Higuain on the other hand has made his bread and butter over his career at being a 20 to 30 goals-a-season centre-forward.

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Letting him go because his first six months perhaps didn’t take off as expected seems a little short-sighted on Chelsea’s part. They will no longer have the magic and inspiration of Eden Hazard next season and goals will simply have to come from elsewhere.

Higuain has shown at previous sides he can handle the goal-scoring pressure and burden, and so when the Blues are locked in those tight encounters next year, they may well regret their decision to allow the cool, calm and collected Argentine to go.

Article title: Chelsea will regret not trusting Gonzalo Higuain to come good next season

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