AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso has called upon Gonzalo Higuain to increase his output for the team, after a difficult first half of the season.
The Argentine striker has only managed to find the net five times in 11 Serie A appearances this term and is without a goal in all competitions since October – a barren run of six matches.
The 30-year-old hitman was brought in from Juventus on an initial loan deal during the summer and the Rossoneri have the option to make the deal permanent at the end of the current campaign for €36 million – as per Sky Sports.
It has been suggested recently that the club will decline to sign him outright, given his lack of form in front of goal, but Gattuso is still hopeful that he can get the best out of him.
The Italian boss is preparing his side for a crucial Serie clash against Bologna away on Tuesday and ahead of the game, he has singled Higuain out for criticism, stating he expects ‘more’ from the veteran centre-forward.
“I’ve spoken to Gonzalo, and he’s the first to be disappointed by the situation,” Gattuso said in a press conference on Monday as per Goal.
“In the period we’re in he needs to give us his experience and character, his goals come after that.
“In difficult times the priority isn’t goals, but leadership, he needs to carry his teammates even if some make mistakes.
“The chatter around him will always be there, we can’t control everything, but I’ve told him that everyone appreciates him, though he has to do more.”
Milan are currently fourth in Serie A, but face a gruelling battle to hold onto that coveted final Champions League spot with just a five-point gap between them and Parma way down in 12th.
Against Bologna Gattuso will be hoping they can bounce back with a win after exiting the Europa League at the group stage last week, following a disappointing 3-1 defeat against Olympiakos.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) December 17, 2018
Higuain is a natural poacher and his goal record at Juventus and Napoli proves he is one one of the most lethal strikers in Europe when on top form.
If he can rediscover his clinical edge in front of goal Milan will surely be favourites to finish fourth and he could yet earn himself a permanent deal at the San Siro in the process.