Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has admitted that January arrival Gonzalo Higuain has work to do to regain match fitness.
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has admitted that January arrival Gonzalo Higuain has work to do to regain match fitness, after the striker's subdued performance in the 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth.
Wednesday's result was Chelsea's heaviest league defeat since 1996, as four second-half goals from Eddie Howe's team saw Sarri's side drop out of the top four, with Higuain producing a limp display in his league debut for the club.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia after the match, Sarri confessed that new signing Higuain is still struggling from a recent back injury, and is not at the level required to be competing in the Premier League just yet.
"He can improve a great deal,’ Sarri said, as quoted by The Sun. "At this moment, he is not in good shape, probably because he has played very little recently between transfer market distractions and back pain. He can grow a great deal over the next few weeks."
The potential injury, and lack of match fitness, mean he could be out of Chelsea's home clash against strugglers Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
The 4-0 loss was Higuain's second appearance for the Blues, having made his club debut in the FA Cup fourth round win over Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday. He played 82 minutes of that encounter, but only managed 65 against Bournemouth, with Sarri hauling him off after failing to register a shot on target for his new side.