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It’s not news that Chelsea have been having striking issues since the departure of Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid over a year ago. Antonio Conte let the striker leave after failing to handle Costa’s excesses, and the Blues have struggled without a top nine ever since.
Chelsea signed Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid in the summer of 2017, in a then record deal for Chelsea as the Blues paid around £60m for the Spaniard. Morata proved to be a great signing as he scored on his debut and scored seven goals in his first seven games for Chelsea.
However, Morata has struggled to maintain his good start to his Chelsea career and struggled under former boss Antonio Conte, and the struggled continued till Maurizio Sarri, before Sarri let him leave to Atletico Madrid during the January transfer window.
Sarri then decided to bring Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus as the Argentine cut short his loan with AC Milan to make the move to Stamford Bridge. Higuain has struggled to shine in the Premier League with 4 goals in 12 league games against Huddersfield, Fulham and Burnley – all clubs in the lower half of the table.
Chelsea legend Claude Makelele has now revealed that Sarri made a huge mistake to let Morata go in place of Higuain, as he maintained that Morata is currently a better striker, with Higuain already past his prime.
“For me, the way I see it I think it depends on the manager and the way he wants to play football,” Makelele told Stadium Astro.
“Either with a target man or with a smart player moving, scoring goals, dribbling.
“We didn’t know exactly what the manager wanted [at the start]. He prefers Higuain because he’s more adapted with Hazard and Willian, he had him before, he knows Higuain very well, so he knows the mentality and spirit [of Sarri’s team].
“But for me, the one is Morata, he’s a real striker. He’s like [Karim] Benzema a little bit, technically soft, scores goals, not selfish, runs, I think he’s quicker than Higuain and Giroud.
“It’s difficult [to adapt], it was hard to adapt in the beginning, I needed to change the way I played, the second ball there was always contact.
“It was so different, you need to be a mix of a fighter and playing football one and two touch. I think any manager who buys a player needs to have the identity of the club.
“He understands why he’s been bought, he needs to be a fighter and play for his teammates.”