"Chelsea are obviously a top, top side, but I think he has outgrown them. He needs to move on."

Hazard has scored just four times in his last 16 games and, while not all of them were played as a striker, it is a significant enough sample size to suggest Sarri must find another answer.

Chelsea's failure to convert territorial dominance into goals during Tuesday's 1-0 defeat against Tottenham in the League Cup semi-final first leg was just their latest display of attacking impotence.

Hazard was unable to escape Tottenham's smothering defence and endured seven fouls - more than any other game this season, providing further evidence that he needs the space on the flanks to work his magic.

No wonder Sarri recently talked of wanting "characteristics" in attack and admitted to being frustrated by his team's lack of cutting edge.

It doesn't help that the supply lines from midfield are so uninspired at present.

Jorginho is a solid presence in front of the back four, but he rarely contributes to attacks.

N'Golo Kante looks a fish out of water in a more advanced midfield role than he is used to, while Ross Barkley, Mateo Kovacic, Willian and Pedro have all struggled at times this season.

Sarri has also been forced to hand Callum Hudson-Odoi a place in his starting line-up in a bid to convince the promising but raw 18-year-old to reject an offer from Bayern Munich.

Turning to the transfer market for a solution, Sarri has been linked with a move for Gonzalo Higuain, currently on loan at AC Milan from Juventus.

The Argentina striker thrived under Sarri at Napoli, scoring 36 Serie A goals during the 2015-16 season.

The deal would reportedly involve the 31-year-old joining Chelsea on loan with an option to sign permanently at the end of the season.

In theory, a visit from struggling Newcastle should offer a chance for Chelsea to play their way back into rhythm.

But the Blues can take nothing for granted after failing to score in three of their last five home league games against Everton, Leicester and Southampton.

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