Higuain on hot seat to earn permanent move to Blues

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Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is confident Gonzalo Higuain can be the short-term solution to his side's need for goals and urged the Argentine to earn a permanent move to the Premier League.

Higuain on Wednesday completed a loan switch to the Blues until the end of the season. He arrives from parent club Juventus having spent a troubled first half of the campaign on loan at AC Milan.

Higuain will be reunited with Sarri, who managed the 31-year-old at Napoli and made him his top target in the January transfer window.

AC Milan's Gonzalo Higuain reacts after a match in King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Jan 16, 2019.

Sarri has fond memories of his one previous season with Higuain when the striker scored a record 36 Serie A goals in a single campaign.

Now he hopes Higuain can spark Chelsea's spluttering attack and earn a long-term switch to Stamford Bridge.

"For sure, he is one of the best strikers in my career," said Sarri, who will have to cope without Higuain in Thursday's League Cup semifinal, second leg against Tottenham.

"It's up to him, I think. He has to score, first of all. I think that for a long-term contract, he has to do very well. He has to play. He has to score. He has to be useful for the team."

After spending the first half of the season in a disappointing loan spell at Milan, Higuain said he was keen to move to Stamford Bridge.

"When the opportunity to join Chelsea presented itself I had to take it," he told Chelsea's website.

"It's a team I've always liked that has a lot of history, a wonderful stadium and they play in the Premier League, a league I've always wanted to play in.

"I now hope I can give back the trust Chelsea has shown. I can't wait to start and I hope to adapt as soon as possible."

Higuain scored just once in his last 12 appearances for Milan, but the former Real Madrid star, who will wear No 9 for Chelsea, is expected to recreate the fruitful relationship he had with Sarri at Napoli in 2015-16.

He scored 36 league goals in 35 games for Napoli, breaking the Serie A single-season record.

After an excellent start to Sarri's reign in charge, Chelsea has stumbled since losing for the first time under the Italian against Spurs at the end of November.

A run of four losses in 11 Premier League games has coincided with Sarri's decision to move Eden Hazard into the middle of his front three, but the Belgian's impact has been limited.

Higuain has struggled since being forced out of Juventus in the summer by the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, scoring just eight times in 22 appearances for Milan.

"Higuain usually is able to score 25 or 30 goals every season," Sarri said.

"As I told you before, in the market in January it's very difficult to secure a very important striker.

"Gonzalo was in a situation that we could try to buy him, so we decided to try."

Sarri said the decision was in part forced by Alvaro Morata's desire to leave Chelsea.

The Spaniard cost a then club-record $77 million when he signed from Real Madrid in July 2017, but now seems set for a loan move to Atletico Madrid to make way for Higuain.

"I think Morata is a very good player and has the characteristics for playing in my team," added Sarri.

"But Morata, one month ago, said he wanted to play for another team. So it was really very difficult for him to give us the 100 percent for his mental situation, I think.

"He is a very good player, but the situation changed in the last month. So we needed to change."

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