Sarri offers frank Higuain assessment

English Premier League

Higuain enjoyed his best season in his career under the guidance of Sarri at Napoli, scoring a Serie A record 36 goals in just 35 appearances before he joined Juventus in a shock €90 million (R1.35bn) transfer.

However, a club-record arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo at Juve saw the Argentine needed to be off-loaded from the club's wage bill, which has seen him spend six months at AC Milan and now reunited with the Italian at Chelsea.

With the clear intention to remedy the Blues scoring woes in the Premier League to enable them to maintain their top-four aspirations, it's safe to say Higuain hasn't hit the gorund running.

Against the Cherries on Wednesday evening, he was subbed just after the hour mark with no shots on goal, no aerial duels won, no key passes and only one attempted dribble, as per WhoScored statistics.

Sarri believes that a back injury is partially to blame for the striker's current condition.

"He can improve a great deal. At this moment, he is not in good shape," he said after the 4-0 thrashing at the Vitality.

"He has played very little recently between transfer market distractions and back pain. He can grow a great deal over the next few weeks."

Sarri went on to explain to his club's official website why he sent the staff out the dressing room, as he spent 45 minutes with his players after the defeat.

"Afterwards we spoke as men between the manager and the players," he said. "We are very angry. It is unacceptable for Chelsea and we have to find the solutions.

"Conceding four goals is unacceptable, and we are very angry with that. We expected another result. To lose 4-0 as Chelsea players is unacceptable.

"We spoke and in three days time, we have another game. We have to be more consistent because 10 days ago we lost against Arsenal, we had a really bad game there, then we played two good games in the cup. To drop back again is really frustrating."

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