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February

Chelsea

Zola hails arrival of striker

26th January 2019, 09:18 by Nick Harris

Chelsea assistant boss Gianfranco Zola has backed striker Gonzalo Higuain to be an immediate hit with the club.

The 31-year-old Argentina striker has joined on a loan deal until the end of the season, with Chelsea holding an option to extend his stay.

Higuain, who could make his debut in Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round tie with Sheffield Wednesday at Stamford Bridge, has played in Spain and Italy, enjoying the best season of his career under Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri.

Higuain scored 36 goals in 35 Serie A games for Sarri's Napoli in 2015-16 and Blues assistant boss Zola reckons the striker can deliver in English football.

"I'm sure there are big expectations. I'm also sure Gonzalo is used to it," Zola said. "He's played for big clubs: Real Madrid, Juventus, Napoli. I'm sure he can handle these expectations. He's always produced good numbers wherever he's been.

"He's a player who can score in many ways so we hope that he can bring his qualities to this team - at this moment it is very much necessary.

"He's coming late but he's coming in a team that plays a system he knows very well, so this is a big advantage.

"Here there are the type of players who will help him to do what he can do best. The conditions are good."

Eden Hazard is relishing the chance to play alongside Higuain.

"When you see his career he has done it everywhere, Madrid, Napoli and Juventus," Hazard said. "I think he can do the same here. He is a top scorer, he can score anywhere."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Nick Harris is a long-standing journalist who specialises in football and rugby league. An avid golfer, Nick also follows the major boxing fights closely.

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