Today, it has been widely reported in the national press that Gonzalo Higuain to Arsenal, for a fee of ?22 million, is essentially a done deal. The Real Madrid striker has fallen out of favour at the Bernabeu and has been seeking a summer move away from the Spanish capital; Juventus were also interested but it appears that Arsenal have snuck in first and wrapped up the deal.
The obvious entry point into an analysis of the transfer is the quoted price. ?22m can be considered as nothing other than a statement of intent by the Gunners, who have previously been criticised for holding onto their pennies and working towards a healthy profit, rather than acting in the best interests of the performance of the club. However, this time, they have decided to spend money early in the transfer window; if they make a few more similar additions it is hard to look past them as genuine title contenders.
Higuain himself is a superb player; he has oft been criticised for only finding the net against the weaker teams in La Liga, but the crucial thing is that he is finding the net. Indeed, since he made his debut in the Spanish league in January 2007, only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have scored more goals than him. He has scored 107 times in the league for Real Madrid, in just 187 appearances; that is a phenomenal goalscoring record, even with the service he has received at Real.
His international record is also something to be admired: playing for one of the best footballing nations in the world, he has scored 20 goals with just 32 caps. To back this tremendous statistic up, those goals have come against the likes of Spain, Germany and Uruguay ? he doesn?t just score in the easy games.
It is impossible to deny that the capture of Gonzalo Higuain ? if it does indeed go through ? would be a fabulous signing for Arsenal, and would leave the teams around them in the table playing catch-up; with Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla servicing him, he could fire Arsenal to the top of the Premier League.