Higuain out, Piatek in? Unhappy Milan star should go, but replacement crucial

While he may not have hit top form this season, Gonzalo Higuain remains a fundamental figure in Milan’s hopes of securing Champions League qualification between now and May.

The 31-year-old has managed to contribute just eight goals in 21 appearances so far this year, as he has struggled to build chemistry with his teammates on the pitch and has cut a frustrated figure more often than not.

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As detailed by Sky Sports, Higuain has initially joined us from Juventus on a season-long loan which will cost us €18m, while we’ll have to spend a further €36m this summer to make it a permanent move.

On the basis of what we’ve seen so far this campaign, it’s fair to suggest that the hierarchy may not be entirely convinced about spending that fee, but the Argentine ace has a pivotal role to play in the coming months given he remains our most prolific option up front with only Patrick Cutrone offering competition for his place.

In turn, in an ideal world, he would stay until the summer and Milan would then consider their options. However, as noted by La Gazzetta dello Sport, things have become much more complicated this month as it’s claimed Higuain wants a reunion with Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea, forcing us to accelerate our plans to find a viable replacement.

That alternative attacking option could arrive in the form of Krzysztof Piatek from Genoa, with the 23-year-old scoring 19 goals in 21 appearances so far this season.

Impressively, the Polish international has also reacted to adversity after suffering a goal drought following a goal-laden start to life in Italy. After bagging nine goals in his first seven Serie A outings, he went five games without a goal. Since then, he’s added four in his last seven games, while showing his quality isn’t reserved to his prolific touch in front of goal.

Nevertheless, he’s still young, unproven at the highest level and won’t bring the same marketability and buzz to the club, and so it does remain a risk in terms of resting our hopes on him to fire to us towards our objective. All that is assuming of course that a deal can even be done with Genoa this month.

According to Sport Mediaset, Piatek wants to join us despite interest from Inter, Napoli and Real Madrid, but finding an agreement with Genoa is the key obstacle standing in the way as it’s added that he’s valued at around €50m by club president Enrico Preziosi.

That surely isn’t a fee we can even consider with our ongoing FFP problems, and so perhaps negotiations will lead to a similar deal to that for Higuain, with an initial loan move coupled with a clause for a permanent move in the future.

It seems there are still several pieces that must fall into place for this transfer merry-go-round to come to fruition. What is clear for now though is that if Higuain isn’t happy with us and wants to leave, for the good of morale within the group and frankly to have committed players who want to be here, Milan are best to let him move on, provided that a replacement is secured to ensure that we’re not left light up front.

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