Chelsea should be cautious when considering a bid for Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi, according to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
Icardi has developed into one of Serie A’s most consistent strikers in recent years, having scored at least 20 league goals in three of the previous four seasons.
The 25-year-old has maintained that form this campaign, scoring 10 goals in 14 appearances so far.
That has led to speculation Icardi could be on the move, with Real Madrid and Chelsea among the sides linked with a move for Argentina international. That speculation has been fuelled further by Icardi’s apparent reluctance to sign a new deal with the Nerazzurri.
Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud currently lead the line for Chelsea, though both have suffered from dips in form in recent months.
As a result it’s been suggested Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri could seek to bolster his forward line in the January transfer window.
However, if Sarri does opt for Icardi then he shouldn’t assume the striker will be an instant hit, according to former Blues forward Hasselbaink.
“I’d have to see Icardi in the Premier League first,” said Hasselbaink, speaking exclusively to 888sport. “The Italian league is totally different.
“Obviously he’s a good player and has great potential but so many of the foreign stars come here and cannot cope with the physicality and pace of the Premier League. If he does come we’d have to be patient with him.”
Despite being linked with a new striker, Hasselbaink believes Chelsea would be wrong to give up on Giroud and Morata.
He accepts they could – and should – be scoring more goals, but still feels they have plenty to offer the side.
“Giroud does make other players around him better when he plays,” he added. “He is very unselfish. Does he need to score more goals? Yes, it’s important for a striker to score and because that will help him play more games but he has other qualities.
“I like Morata. A lot of people are taking about him and he’s getting a lot of mixed messages. That is not helping him. He needs to keep on looking at his qualities and he’s got big qualities.
“I don’t think he should play the physical game. He should play to his strengths which is an eye for goal and his little runs behind the defence. He’s quick and he makes things difficult for defences and that’s what he needs to keep on doing.
“He shouldn’t play like Giroud because that’s not him.”
Read the full 888sport interview with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, including his thoughts why it’s Chelsea, not Liverpool, who are Manchester City’s biggest title rivals this season.