Higuain offers Chelsea hope with Hazard link-ups

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Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard

Looking beyond the highlights reel of Gonzalo Higuain’s performance against Huddersfield, there were encouraging signs in his early relationship with Eden Hazard, as well as some sloppy touches that suggest it may take the Argentina international a while to get up to the speed of Premier League football.

Higuain frequently held up the ball (or, without touching it, held off a defender to free up space for a team-mate) much like the man he replaced, Olivier Giroud, but unlike the Frenchman, Higuain showed a superb ability to dart into space out of nowhere.

That sharp turn – most notably seen for his first goal, in which two centre-backs were taken out of the game in the blink of an eye – is what makes Higuain a top striker. It is also what makes him perfect for the sudden vertical one-two passing that is essential to Sarriball.

The new Chelsea striker’s link-up with Hazard was also Giroud-esque.

Throughout the opening 45 minutes, Hazard turned the ball round the corner with his first touch, instinctively finding his team-mate and moving to receive the lay-off.

However, too often, Higuain’s final pass was wayward (13 in total), and twice from promising two-on-two situations he made the wrong run. It may take some time before Higuain shows the fitness, consistency, and teamwork that made him so ruthless at Napoli.

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