The arrival of Gonzalo Higuain could enable Maurizio Sarri to emulate the success of previous Chelsea managers, according to Jamie Redknapp.
Head coach Sarri has recently been under pressure and was jeered by Chelsea fans during last week’s 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth.
But they responded with a 5-0 hammering of Huddersfield at Stamford Bridge, where Higuain and Eden Hazard both scored twice.
Chelsea have lacked a physical presence up front since the departure of Diego Costa, who was instrumental in title triumphs under Sarri’s predecessors Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho.
Before that, Didier Drogba led from the front during a spell in which Chelsea became European as well as English champions.
So Redknapp, writing in the Daily Mail, argues that Sarri should not be judged on his results without a similar figure up front.
“Chelsea’s five title-winning teams have one thing in common,” the former Tottenham and England midfielder explained.
“Jose Mourinho brought Didier Drogba to the club in his first season and the striker was a key component in Chelsea’s triumphs in 2005 and 2006. He then struck 29 goals in 32 games to fire Carlo Ancelotti’s side to the Double in 2010.
“The arrival of Diego Costa inspired Chelsea to a third title under Mourinho in 2015 and another under Antonio Conte.
“Since Conte fell out with Costa, Chelsea have lacked a snarling, physical presence at the top of their team. Until now.
“Maurizio Sarri has not had an A-list centre-forward to work with. Gonzalo Higuain may be a quick fix but you cannot doubt his quality. He can be the missing piece in Sarri’s tactical plan.
“Let’s see how Chelsea fare with a proper focal point before jumping to conclusions about their manager.”