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 By Ben Gladwell

Gonzalo Higuain is crucial for Juventus and helps win trophies - Chiellini

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has defended Gonzalo Higuain after the forward was criticised for his lack of goals so far this season.

Higuain, who scored 32 goals in his first season for the Serie A champions, has struck only twice this term.

But Chiellini said he was a crucial part of the team and told Sky Sport Italia: "Higuain is a problem that doesn't exist.

"He is a guarantee; a player who, come the end of the season, is always there as one of the leading scorers -- one of those who makes you win things."

However, former Juventus striker Fabrizio Ravanelli said the Argentina international was currently "a burden" and should be dropped until he can find his best form.

"I don't think he has a physical problem -- it's more of a psychological one," he told Radio Sportiva.

"I think that his exclusion from the national team has hurt him because being left out twice is hard to digest, and Allegri continuing to play him is not doing him any good either.

"Right now, he just needs some peace and quiet. Gonzalo is really confused and he seems a shadow of the Higuain we know.

"Right now, he's not involved in the game, and the team can do without somebody like that. I would leave him out. I think Higuain's a burden for Juventus."

However, Allegri looks set to stick with Higuain against Torino this weekend.

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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