The transfer of Argentinian front man Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid seems to have been dragging on all summer, but it appears that a deal is close to being completed. But what does he bring to the table for the Gunners?
First of all, there is no way of denying facts; he is a fantastic finisher. Within 25 yards of goal, Higuain is in his element. Right foot, left foot, header, volley, tap in, it doesn’t matter, he can score them all. Matched up with this ability is a capability to score special goals as well.
He’s not just a great scorer, he’s a scorer of great goals too. He has scored magnificent lobs, notably against Mallorca and Valladolid. He has scored amazing, athletic volleys like the ones against Levante and Zaragoza. And he has scored stunning drives against the likes of Valencia and Getafe.
More importantly than this though, he is also a scorer of important goals. In his first season at Real Madrid, his first ever goal for the club was a winner against Madrid rivals, but his second goal was the most important perhaps of their season. In a tight season that saw Fabio Capello’s side hunting down Barcelona, Higuian scored the winner in a 4-3 comeback victory against Espanyol, finally propelling Madrid ahead of their Catalan rivals, before they went on to win the league.
In 2008, the Argentinian had an incredible run of form at the end of the season, regularly coming off the bench and scoring in an incredible run that included an assist and the winning goal in the game that clinched the title for Real against Osasuna.
Injuries have hampered his career at the Madrid outfit since then, in particular a back problem that required surgery and resulted in him missing four months of the 2010-2011 season. He has at times struggled to regain his spot in Mourinho’s plans, and has been passed over by Karim Benzema as the number one striker at the club.
Disillusion with the club set in, and he was on the verge of leaving last season, before being reassured by a combination of Florentino Perez, Jose Mourinho and the fans that Madrid was the right place for him to be at.
In the time there, he still managed to become the second youngest player to score 100 Real Madrid goals, and the fifth highest foreign goal scorer in the club’s history. With the quality of players that have passed through Madrid, he is in exalted company. Arsenal will be hoping he can keep this form going in North London.
So Arsenal, so often accused of needing a fox in the box and a winning mentality, look to have secured the services of a great goal scorer with the mentality to keep going and score important goals at important times. At long last, it appears the message has got through at Arsenal, and Higuain is perhaps symbolic of change.
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