What if…Chelsea had signed Gonzalo Higuain in the summer?

Back in July, Italian outlet Sport Mediaset – along with many other publications – reported that Chelsea were on the verge of signing Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain.

What went down?

Ultimately, the 31-year-old forward’s switch to Stamford Bridge – after much speculation – failed to materialise. 

Instead, the 75-cap Argentina international joined fellow Serie A side AC Milan on loan. With the Rossoneri, Higuain has struggled to find his best form, and has notched just eight goals in twenty appearances for the San Siro club.

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Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, for his part, did not sign another attacker, and the Blues went into the new Premier League campaign with the ageing Olivier Giroud and the struggling Alvaro Morata as the only senior strikers on their books.

What might have been?

At first, Chelsea’s lack of a new frontman did not trouble them, as Eden Hazard took up the slack in goalscoring terms. However, the Blues’ over-reliance upon the Belgian soon told. When Hazard’s goals dried up, Chelsea’s unbeaten start gave way, their form stumbled, and ultimately Sarri’s side fell away from league title contention.

Had they signed Higuain – who Transfermarkt now value at £45million – and had he only been able to produce his current Milan form in England, little would be different at Chelsea, except they would also have made an expensive transfer mistake.

However, Sarri will have backed himself to be able to get the best out of the Argentine – having done so before. In the 2015/16 season, Sarri’s first in charge of Napoli and Higuain’s last at the club, the striker registered a remarkable 36 goals in just 35 league outings.

Over the course of his two-year spell with Juventus that followed, Higuain scored 40 goals in Serie A alone. That kind of prolific return might have made Chelsea genuine contenders this season, and Sarri will feel as though he missed out on that this summer.

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