Gonzalo Higuain: Serie A strikers who succeeded and failed in the Premier League as move to Chelsea from Juventus nears

17 Jan

Chelsea are closing in on signing striker Gonzalo Higuain with Sky in Italy reporting a deal has been agreed.

The striker, who is currently on loan at Milan from Juventus, has been heavily linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge throughout the January transfer window.

Chelsea are close to signing Gonzalo Higuain on loan

Higuain has an impressive goalscoring record in both Spain and Italy but there will be questions whether the 31-year-old will be able to cut it in the Premier League.

He would join a number of forwards to join England’s top flight from Serie A.

Some have been great successes while others may have wished they had never left Italy.

We look back at some of those who made their mark and the others you may have forgotten about.

Successes

Gianluca Vialli – Juventus to Chelsea

The Italian striker won a number of titles in his home country with Sampdoria and Juventus before signing on a free transfer for Chelsea.

In just three seasons for the Blues he scored 40 goals in 88 games and also won the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Super Cup before going on to manage the side.

Gianluca Vialli scored 40 goals for Chelsea

Dennis Bergkamp – Inter Milan to Arsenal

Bruce Rioch smashed the Gunners’ transfer record to bring him to Highbury from Inter Milan for £7.5million in 1995.

His outstanding technique, composure and vision made him an Arsenal legend, as well as forming a formidable partnership with Thierry Henry.

He won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups in his 11 seasons with the north London club.

Dennis Bergkamp was Arsenal’s transfer record at the time

Gianfranco Zola – Parma to Chelsea

After his £4.5million transfer from Italy, he was part of the resurgent Chelsea side that enjoyed success in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

He scored 80 goals for the Blues in 311 games and went on to win two FA Cups, the League Cup and UEFA Super Cup.

Chelsea paid £4.5m for Gianfranco Zola

Thierry Henry – Juventus to Arsenal

One of the greatest strikers to grace the Premier League. Arsenal paid Juve £11.5million for Henry in 1999 and he went on to score 226 goals for the club in 369 games to become their all-time leading scorer.

Two Premier League titles and two FA Cups later he moved to Barcelona before returning back in 2012 scoring twice more in seven games.

Thierry Henry is Arsenal’s record goalscorer

Failures

Mario Balotelli – Inter Milan to Manchester City

The Italian striker caused more headlines off the pitch than on it.

His 13 Premier League goals in 2011-12 did help City to the title but he failed to live up to expectations.

He was shipped out to AC Milan after two and a half seasons only to return to England 18 months later.

Liverpool took him on for just a season where he scored just four times in 28 games.

Mario Balotelli won the Premier League with Man City

Andriy Shevchenko – AC Milan to Chelsea

The Ukranian was one of the deadliest strikers in the world for AC Milan where he regularly scored more than 20 goals a season.

Chelsea paid £30.8million for Shevchenko in 2006 but scored just nine Premier League goals in 48 appearances. 

Andriy Shevchenko failed to impress at Chelsea

Adrian Mutu – Parma to Chelsea

In 2003, new Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich spent £15.8million to bring the Romanian striker to Stamford Bridge.

He had a difficult first season where he netted just six times in the Premier League.

In September 2004, Mutu tested positive for cocaine and he was given a seven month ban and never played for the club again.

Dani Osvaldo – Roma to Southampton

His record of 27 Serie A goals in 55 games impressed Southampton enough to pay £12.8million for his services in 2013.

Osvaldo scored just three times in 13 games for the club and after a number of loan spells had his contract cancelled.

He is now a rock star in Spain and released an album in 2017 with friends he met while playing for Espanyol.

Dani Osvaldo made just 13 appearances at Southampton

Stevan Jovetic – Fiorentina to Manchester City

City paid €26.7million for the striker in 2013 but he failed to live up to expectations.

He scored 11 times in 44 games and struggled to break into the first team under Manuel Pellegrini.

Jovetic was loaned to Inter Milan for 18 months before that move was made permanent.

Stevan Jovetic did not enjoy a successful time at Manchester City

Ex-Chelsea striker Adrian Mutu has newest legal challenge against Blues compensation rejected

2 Oct

Adrian Mutu’s latest legal challenge against having to pay compensation to Chelsea for failing a drugs test in 2004 has been rejected by the European Court of Human Rights.

The former Romania striker’s contract with the Premier League club was terminated after traces of cocaine showed up in an anti-doping test by the Football Association during October ‘04.

Mutu tested positive for traces of cocaine

The forward subsequently appealed to first the FA and then the Court of Abritration for Sport – which in December 2005 upheld a decision Mutu had been in breach of his contract “without reasonable cause”.

After Chelsea were successful in their own subsequent legal action to FIFA, Mutu was ordered in 2007 to pay more than €17m – nearly £15.3m at today’s exchange rate. The player once more appealed to CAS, but saw that case dismissed in July 2009.

Mutu, though, continued his legal fight by lodging an appeal to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. He argued CAS had not been neither independent nor impartial because one of the panel members had been a partner in a law firm representing the interests of the owner of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich.

In June 2010, the player’s case was dismissed by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, which prompted Mutu to seek a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

However, the judgement released on Tuesday said there had been “no violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial) with regard to the alleged lack of independence of the Court of Arbitration for Sport” in Mutu’s case.

The ECHR found the CAS arbitration proceedings were “required to offer all the safeguards of a fair hearing” and rejected “criticisms concerning the impartiality of certain arbitrators”.

He went on to play for Juventus and Fiorentina

Responding to the ruling, a statement from CAS read: “The ECHR judgement is another confirmation, this time at a continental level, that CAS is a genuine arbitration tribunal and that such sports jurisdiction is necessary for uniformity in sport.”

Mutu had joined Chelsea from Italian club Parma in August 2003 for around £15.8m.

Following the end of his doping ban, the striker went on to play for Juventus and Fiorentina as well as a short spell in the Indian Super League with Pune City.

Mutu, 39, retired from playing in 2016 and earlier this year spent a few months in charge of Romanian club Voluntari.