Chelsea striker Gonzalo Higuain has made a sluggish start to life at Stamford Bridge since his January loan move from Serie A side Juventus.
Higuain has scored just three goals for Chelsea with all three goals coming against Fulham and Huddersfield. Both clubs have been relegated from the Premier League with six games and over a month of the season still to play.
Chelsea have the option to extend his loan by a further year for €18milliom (£15.5million) or sign him outright for €36million (£31million) but his lack of scoring form has lessened the chances of Chelsea signing him.
While Higuain has struggled, back-up striker Olivier Giroud has scored eight goals in his last 10 appearances for club and country.
Ahead of the Premier Clash against West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has demanded more from the striker.
Sarri said of Higuain: “He has to improve physically and mentally. He is able to be very useful during the last part of the season. It is not easy in the first months to play in the Premier League.
“It was a problem for Luis Suarez at Liverpool in his first season. He scored four goals [after signing in January] and then 24 in his first full season.
“He needs time to improve his physical condition and to be suitable for the Premier League. He is able to do it. We have Giroud and he is in very good mental and physical condition. We need both.”
Asked whether he would like to keep Higuain at Chelsea next season, Sarri said: “Yes, of course, but it depends on the club and Juventus. It is not clear the situation.”
Meanwhile, Sarri has been blamed for loan signing of Higuain.
“Sarri says that Higuain is struggling to adapt to English football, well he should have known this,” Craig Burley told ESPN FC.
“He knows Higuain very well from Italy and he has had a good six months to suss out how football is played over here.
“By the way it isn’t chalk and cheese, it might be a little quicker here but it isn’t that much different.
“He is just not playing well and he is in a team that is not playing well.
“And if Chelsea do get in the top four or when the Europa League then it is going to paper over the cracks of the deficiencies of this manager for the long-term I think.”