Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Could Arsenal regret not signing Gonzalo Higuain?

Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain had been linked with Arsenal, but moved to Juventus

Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain had been linked with Arsenal but moved to Juventus

Argentinian striker Gonzalo Higuain has now completed his move from Napoli to Italian champions Juventus for a fee reported to be £75.3million.

The striker is believed to have signed a four-year contract with the Bianconeri. The deal is the biggest in the history of Serie A.

Premier League Arsenal and Spanish club Atletico Madrid were both reported to be interested in signing Higuain. However, it seems that Juve was the only club to put their money where their mouth is.

Arsenal still looking for a striker

Arsenal is again on the lookout for an upgrade or an alternative striking option to France international Olivier Giroud. It is a case of history repeating itself, though because there does not seem to have been a transfer window in recent times that the Gunners were not crying out for a top striker.

Last season the Gunners could have arguably won the Premier League title with a more prolific striker up front. Instead, Arsene Wenger’s only activity last summer and in January was to sign a goalkeeper and a midfielder.

The Frenchman’s stubbornness is incredible. He refuses to spend big, despite the claim that the club will splash the cash if the right player is available. Some Arsenal fans would say that Higuain was the right player.

Maybe the transfer was slightly over the top for one player, but Gonzalo Higuain is one of the few strikers in European football that is a virtual guarantee of goals.

He is prolific in front of goal

Higuain is a goal scoring machine. The 28-year-old is in his prime and will probably be prolific for Juventus for the duration of this Juventus contract.

Last season Higuain finished the Serie A season with 36 goals and came second in the European Golden Boot race, with only Barcelona’s Luis Suarez scoring more goals than the Argentinian in Europe’s top flights.

It is not a one-off scoring feat either, the previous season he scored 18 league goals, while also producing seven assists. The season before the striker scored 17 goals and produced seven assists. No doubt last season was his most productive of his career in European football, though.

Some will say that those stats are not too different from that of Olivier Giroud’s for Arsenal in those same campaigns. The difference would be that Higuain was arguably not playing with the same quality of teammate as the French striker.

If he is given chances the Argentinian will score goals and that is undisputable fact. In a team that creates chances at the rate of Arsenal, he would no doubt prove even more prolific.

Arsenal missed an incredible amount of chances last season, but it cannot all be laid at the door of Giroud though. As a team, they were simply not clinical enough in front of goal.

However, if they had a man of the potency of Higuain up front, then they may have earned a few more victories and their first Premier League title triumph in over a decade.

Arsenal not realistic title challengers

Arsenal missed a massive chance last season to win the Premier League title. The Gunners are odds of 6/1 to be crowned champions, but I am highly sceptical about their ability to win the league title next season.

The Gunners knew that their rivals would strengthen their personnel this summer. Not only have they strengthened their playing staff they have brought in highly-rated bosses.

The arrival of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola at Manchester United and City respectively have made the pair title favourites, that’s how highly both the bosses are rated. Even Chelsea’s appointment of former Italy boss Antonio Conte looks to be a shrewd one.

For Arsenal to compete for the title next season the Gunners would have had to added serious quality to their squad. They brought in Swiss central midfielder Granit Xhaka for big money, but their two other signings have been bargain basement buys.

I doubt many Arsenal fans expected different from Scrooge Wenger, but I am sure the Gunners fans were hoping for quality additions this summer.

For me, Higuain would have been a good signing for Arsenal. His transfer fee was always going to see the Gunners drop their interest in the forward. Maybe the Argentinian international was overpriced, but he was what the Gunners needed and they may live to regret not signing him next season.

Could Arsenal regret not signing Gonzalo Higuain?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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