UEFA Europa League hero Olivier Giroud could spell the end of Gonzalo Higuain's Chelsea career

Although both Chelsea strikers have underperformed in the league, the World Cup winner has shone at the continental level...

Although Chelsea have sealed a spot in next season's UEFA Champions League by confirming a top-four spot in the Premier League, the Europa League is Chelsea's only hope for a trophy this season. 

With a second leg against Eintracht Frankfurt to negotiate and an away goal scored by Pedro helping their cause, Maurizio Sarri will be hoping to make full use of the home advantage.

Sarri will be expecting Frankfurt to employ an aggressive and physical approach, leaving space in behind for Chelsea to counter. This is where Chelsea's European hero Olivier Giroud can stretch the defence at the other end of the field. 

With Antonio Rudiger and N'golo Kante set to miss the fixture due to injuries, Luka Jovic and co. will be hoping to cause problems against the Chelsea defence. But any attacking intent from the visiting side will leave space at the back for Chelsea's forwards to explit. And this is where Olivier Giroud becomes crucial. 

Gonzalo Higuain Chelsea

The World Cup-winning French striker has only scored two goals in seven Premier League starts. However, his return in the Europa League has been nothing short of excellent. With 10 goals in 10 starts, Giroud will be the one Sarri will once again turn to lead Chelsea's attack in the crucial second leg and the striker's phenomenal form in Europe could also mean the end of Gonzalo Higuain's Chelsea stay. The former Arsenal striker has also combined better in terms of link-up play with players like Eden Hazard and Willian and offers a much better aerial threat inside the box. 

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While the Argentine has improved markedly in the last few games, his in-game impact remains well short of the standards demanded by a club such as Chelsea. While the manager has publicly stated his intention to keep him at the club for one more season, very few fans actually expect an extension to the striker's tenure. 

Higuain has five goals from 12 starts in the league and hasn't played in the Europa League. The chances of Giroud being Chelsea's first-choice striker are little to none but if Giroud's excellent return in the Europa League continues and culminates in Sarri picking up his first trophy at Chelsea, Higuain would have most likely played his last match for the Blues in their final Premier League game against Leicester. And it will turn out to be an emotionless goodbye. 

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