By William Hill
24th January 2019
Chelsea have completed the signing of Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain for the remainder of the 2018/19 campaign, with options to extend the loan until June 2020 for an additional £15.6m or buy him for £31.3m
The William Hill traders go 5/6 about the Argentine goal machine scoring six or more Premier League goals this term and 10/1 that he can notch a double-figure tally over the 15 games remaining.
Six top-flight strikes should be a cinch for the 31-year-old Rolls Royce marksman, while he also looks overpriced to bag 10 or more. Here’s why:
1) Impeccable pedigree at the continent’s top tables
Since the start of the 2006/07 season, only five players have bagged more goals across Europe’s top five leagues than Higuain.
Among the six leading scorers during that period, only Lionel Messi (20.94%) has a better shot conversion rate than the 2014 World Cup finalist (19.96%).
2) Proven adaptability across leagues
Alongside Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Higuain is one of only three players to have scored more than 100 goals in two of the continent’s top five divisions in the 21st century and the only one to do so without a spell at Paris Saint-Germain.
3) The Sarri reunion
Blues boss Maurizio Sarri doubtless has fond memories of the man that spearheaded his lethal Napoli attack during the 2015/16 campaign, as will his new striker.
The Argentine struck 36 times in 35 Serie A games to break a 66-year-old scoring record in the division – it was also his highest total in a season by a margin of nine goals.
4) The Aubameyang precedent
A proven and renowned marksman across two of Europe’s toughest top flights, joining a big six Premier League club in January – sound familiar?
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang didn’t make his Arsenal debut until February 2018, but still managed to bang in 10 goals in 13 appearances during the remainder of the campaign.
5) Chelsea’s Premier League creativity stats are tough to match this season
Stamford Bridge’s finest are sixth in the current Premier League goals-for stakes, but that doesn’t tell the whole story, not by a long chalk.
Sarri has two players inside the division’s top four for key passes (ones that lead to scoring opportunities), with Eden Hazard and Willian averaging 2.7 and 2.5 would-be-assists per game respectively.
Meat and drink, or their vegan substitutes, for a striker of Higuain’s calibre and his new colleagues already muster an average of 11.7 shots per game from open play in the top flight this term.
That’s more than any other sidebar Manchester City, while the 9.1 shots they average per game from inside the penalty area is also a total only the Citizens can better.