Maurizio Sarri’s interest in Gonzalo Higuain can be explained by one fruitful season the pair enjoyed together at Napoli.
The Italian took over in Naples in 2015 and inherited a striker in Higuain who had lost his way after leaving Real Madrid; but remained talented.
Sarri transformed the Argentine during the 2015/16 season. Higuain began to realise his potential, scoring more goals than anyone ever has in a Serie A campaign, with 36.
Higuain snubbed Chelsea
However, Higuain has since decided to join AC Milan, ending Sarri’s hopes of bringing the striker to the Premier League.
That forces him to work to improve Alvaro Morata; who endured an underwhelming debut season in English football as he laboured under the weight of expectation at Stamford Bridge.
Morata, like the old Higuain, is a striker with talent, but perhaps lacking the ruthlessness to force himself to the very top.
Sarri has shown with Higuain that he can elevate a striker like that to the next level; by showing them what is required to be a top marksman, while implementing a style of play which creates chances.
He had hoped to parachute in Higuain to transform Chelsea, but Sarri must now repeat the trick with Morata.
That may take a little longer, but if Sarri gets it right, Higuain’s 2015/16 shows the results could be spectacular. There is reason for optimism.