Zola backs Higuain to replicate his success in the Premier League
Chelsea’s assistant manager Gianfranco Zola believes that Gonzalo Higuain has arrived at Chelsea at just the right time in his career.
The 31-year-old did not make it in time to play against Spurs in the Carabao Cup semi-final but he will be in the squad when Chelsea face Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup.
Questions have been raised about Higuain’s age, with many suggesting that his best days are already behind him but Zola, who himself arrived at Stamford Bridge in 1996 aged 30 and went on to gain cult status, believes that the Argentinian can replicate his success at Stamford Bridge.
“Twenty years ago, 15 years ago, I would’ve said coming here, it’s a difficult age,” said Zola, assistant to head coach Maurizio Sarri.
“Now with the level of professionalism and with the resources that the players have, 31 is a good age. There is not a doubt about that. Plus, the age relates to the person. It seems he takes care of himself.
“It is exactly the same question they posed when I came over here.
“Yes, we know he’s coming from a different league, maybe a league where the intensity and rhythms are lower than the Premier League, but we’re talking about a player who has scored not only in Italy, but everywhere, also in the Champions League.
“Everybody knows his best qualities, the goalscoring record. He’s a player who can score in many ways, so we hope that he can bring his qualities to this team and, at this moment, it’s very much necessary.”