Chelsea need a new No.9 to replace Higuain, says Hasselbaink

Gonzalo Higuain Chelsea 2018-19Getty Images

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is concerned about Chelsea's lack of firepower next season as he does not think Gonzalo Higuain is worthy of remaining at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have struggled to find a No.9 since Hasselbaink left the club in 2004, with the likes of Fernando Torres, Alvaro Morata, Radamel Falcao and Hernan Crespo all falling short of the Dutchman's goals-per-game ratio.

Higuain is the latest to wear the shirt, but his five goals in 18 games have left many feeling disappointed by his contribution.

Hasselbaink is, however, happy Olivier Giroud is staying at the club but he feels that another striker needs to come in as soon as possible, with the Blues mulling over appealing their transfer ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

"I think Chelsea need to sign a striker, a new number nine and he should wear that number," Hasselbaink told Goal . "I like Giroud and I sometimes think he is not treated fairly. He is unfortunate not to get more opportunities.

"He does make the other players play better but the only thing is that he doesn't get enough goals. I am glad he is staying. I don't think Higuain will stay. So they need another striker to come into the club at Chelsea."

With Eden Hazard looking likely to join Real Madrid in the summer, Hasselbaink feels it's going to be a team effort to replace the Belgian, rather than relying on one individual player to have a similar influence.

"Of course they can replace Hazard," he added. "If they look to just one man, then it would be difficult. He is so creative and contributes so many goals to this team. You would have to get several good players to share that responsibility and to take that weight off a single player, like Christian Pulisic.

Eden Hazard Chelsea 2018-19, in 2019-20 home kit

"Perhaps they can tweak the style of play or use some of the loanees from the Championship to do so."

Chelsea face Arsenal in the Europa League final on May 29 and, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek ruled out after picking up an Achilles injury in a friendly win over New England Revolution, Hasselbaink thinks he'll be a big miss in Baku.

"It is very sad because he has been doing really well of late," he said. "He would have got in the team. He gives something extra to the others, something different and scores goals. He can create goals and he gives them an extra attacking intent.

"I think he will be a big miss. He is definitely good enough for Chelsea in the long-term. He just needs even more time and games. He definitely deserves his opportunities but it has been difficult to judge him when he has only had a game here and a game there."

Maurizio Sarri, meanwhile, continues to be under pressure with his future uncertain  but Hasselbaink thinks he can look back on what has been a positive season, with the Blues securing automatic qualification to next season's Champions League.

"They have done well overall to finish third," he added. "That was the remit to get Champions League football. They got it and finished third. Let's not forget that Liverpool and Man City were a class apart this year and a lot better than the rest.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

"Yes, the gap is still huge. Next year it is time to close that gap and become challengers for the title next season. It is always important to win competitions, especially European competitions for Chelsea as a big club. They want to have as much success as possible.

"Will it be easy to beat Arsenal in Baku? No. They are playing well in their European campaign and they have goalscorers. That means they will be dangerous. I think that the main thing was to get into the Champions League and it would be a bonus to get a cup.

"They were close in the League Cup and they have the Europa League final and challenging to win that. If they win that I would describe it as a very successful season. If not, it is a good season."

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was playing at Stamford Bridge alongside Coca-Cola’s charity partner StreetGames. This summer Coca-Cola and StreetGames will be working together to help young footballers access coaches and pitches as part of its Premier League sponsorship #WhereEveryonePlays