Higuain explains how Sarri influenced Chelsea switch

Joe Williams

Gonzalo Higuain has explained how vital Maurizio Sarri was in his decision to move to Chelsea on loan from Juventus for the rest of the season.

The 31-year-old Argentina international spent the first half of the campaign at AC Milan, scoring eight times in 22 appearances.

Higuain, who has been capped 75 times by his country, scored just once in his final 12 appearances for Milan.

But his record of 36 goals in 35 Serie A games in 2015-16, his one season at Napoli under Sarri, has persuaded Chelsea to compromise on their usual policy of not signing players aged over 30 for vast sums.

“Maurizio Sarri is the coach who, in my career, has got the best out of me as a player,” Higuain told Chelsea’s official website.

“He’s someone who knew how to work with me, particularly on the emotional side.

“That year together was fantastic and in big parts thanks to him, so coming to work with him is very important for me.

“I’m really happy to have been given the opportunity to do that and I want to get back to that level.

“It was a wonderful season and one in which I broke the goalscoring record, which is very important out there.

“It was a fantastic year for myself and Maurizio, and a period which we shared together, even though it was a short time.

“Now I’m just happy to be working with him again at a big club like Chelsea which has all the history and wonderful team-mates.

“I think everything is set on the right path to achieve our goals by the end of the season.”

Juventus revealed the existence of two long-term financial options attached to the deal, with Chelsea able to sign Higuain outright during the loan spell for around £31.3million.

A statement on juventus.com read: “The agreement also grants to Chelsea the options to extend the duration of the loan until 30 June 2020, for a consideration of 18 million euros (£15.7million) to be paid in 2019-20 financial year, or to acquire the registration rights of the player on a permanent basis for 36 million euros (£31.3million) to be paid in two financial years.”