A Closer Look at Gonzalo Higuain: a striker with 30+ goals a season potential

Gonzalo Higuian

Gonzalo Higuain

It’s that time again when we get linked with every single player the media can think of. Most are usually baseless unfounded rumours but some might have substance to them. We have been linked with players from all corners of the globe with different status levels. From the top stars such as Cavani, who would command transfer fees that could run a small country for a day, to unheard of raw talent.

This time round, though, we are in a position to discern whether the rumours being peddled around have any substance or are just fabrications by the media, in order to create stories. This is because the players themselves, their agents and the clubs they represent, are much more involved in the media, and therefore are able to quickly publicly quash or confirm any stories concerning them which have been published. Case in point, examine the Cesc Fabregas saga.

My focus for this post is on Gonzalo Higuain. He is a 25 year old Argentinian striker who plies his trade in the Spanish capital with Real Madrid (for those who may not know). The main reason why I am taking a keen look at him is because I believe there is a very real chance that he could be a gunner by the time we head to Asia for our preseason. Higuain (fondly known as ‘el pipita’ by his Argentine fans) has spent 7 years at Madrid having mixed fortunes. He signed on as 19 year old from River plate but never really made his mark in his first season. Madrid fans were calling for his dismissal from the club but Pellegrini stuck by him. His second season was a bit better but still not good enough (for a player at Real Madrid). The following season, however, was his breakout in which he scored over 20 goals for the club. Unfortunately for him, that is the season that Ramon Calderon and Manuel Pellegrini (the two men who brought him to the club) left.

When Florentino Perez was elected the new Madrid president, he brought in Ronaldo, Benzema, Kaka among others, which would see Higuain marginalized. He, however, continued to play well and even ensuring that to date, Karim Benzema has never finished higher than him in the scoring charts. In fact in the first season when Ronaldo, Benzema and Higuain played together, the Argentinian finished as Madrid’s top scorer. Perez has marginalized him, seeing him as a symbol of his predecessor’s (Calderon) reign. This is despite his obvious talent.

Higuain is a goal scorer, pure and simple. He has proven this by ensuring that beginning his 3rd season at Madrid, he has never finished with less than 10 goals regardless of his appearances. The recently concluded season, 2012-13, was one of his lowest in terms of appearances for the club (with Benzema preferred as the main striker alongside Ronaldo), yet he managed an impressive 16 goals, beating first choice Benzema yet again. To put it into perspective, it is like if Podolski had outscored Walcott.

Higuain is a world class striker and at 25 years old, he is at the prime age to join us. One thing that stands out about him is his mightily impressive shooting technique. He scores goals from all angles in front of goal you can imagine. (Have a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjCDyoGSVTQ).

Also impressive, is his ambidexterity (Santi Cazorla anyone?). He is primarily right footed but can shoot and pass as well with his left foot. Higuain is fairly pacey but his speed of thought, reading of the game and general movement are the traits that make him so lethal. His ball control is also superb. He is also very strong in the air and is deceptively powerful. I say deceptively because for someone with his average frame he depends a lot on his physical strength to hold off defenders which he does very well.

The only weaknesses I can think of are: he may not be as skilled with the ball at his feet or as fast compared to his fellow striker Benzema. He used to be quite inconsistent in front of goal and his ball control at times looked suspect, but those are demons he laid to rest a long time ago.

At the end of the 2011-12 season, he handed in a transfer request but Mourinho convinced him to stay by promising a more prominent role at the club. This never came to fruition and now he is more determined than ever to leave. The two clubs after him are Arsenal and Juventus. Asked about this interest, he said that he wouldn’t mind either, even saying that Arsenal would suit him.

And I tend to agree with him. Not to say that Madrid’s midfielders are average but at Arsenal, where he would be our main man up front, his goal haul could easily pass the 30 goal mark given the calibre of players playing behind him. At Madrid, Ronaldo is the player everyone looks towards to score, which means that it is him who everybody is expected to create for.

My verdict is that we should do what is needed to bring him in. We have the advantage anyway. Perez says that 25.5 million would not be enough, but I think that he is just trying to salvage the best he can in a hopeless situation. For a player whose agent, father and he himself have publicly stated that he’s leaving, the stated amount is a very tall order. Juventus on the other hand are evidently financially inferior to us. Therefore, this should be a fairly simple transfer to pull off, IF Le Prof was to go for him.

Personally, I’d love to see it happen. Would you?

Written by: Marcus.

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55 Responses to A Closer Look at Gonzalo Higuain: a striker with 30+ goals a season potential

  1. VCC says:

    Yes Marcus, this is the player Wenger should be bringing in this summer, simples.

  2. Baz says:

    Yes, top class striker would love to see him in an Arsenal shirt!

  3. Dylan says:

    If you look back at the last post you’ll see he’s on my wish list. I am very hopeful of us signing him. He provides us with a pacey, ambidextrous finisher (like Poldi), but unlike Poldi, someone who can play as a striker in our system. I think he’d fit in very well, especially in a Wengerball team.

  4. Highbury Harmony says:

    Nice write-up Marcus, Higuain has been high on my list ever since he was first linked to us.

    However, I would caution on classing Higuain as a “world-class striker”. He’s definitely a world-class finisher, but still a bit away from being a world-class striker. Whether it be opportunity or individual ability that holds Higuain back from being a world-class striker remains to be seen, but hopefully that question will be answered at Arsenal, opposed to Juve.

    Much like yourself, I feel as though he could score 25 goals with Arsenal if he is the leading man/focal point. He has the required strength, good enough pace (he’s not that fast though) and the technical ability to thrive in the PL.

    Let’s just hope that Arsene does not pull his usual crap in haggling over transfer fees and missing out on a great opportunity because he was too cheap to fork out an extra £2-3 million on the transfer fee. The alternatives at the same price range for a new ST are just not comparable in terms of being a proven, established finisher in a top league and just entering their prime.

  5. mbuchu says:

    Financially Arsenal appear stronger on papers compared to Juventus. But on spending side, Juventus leads…It’s either Rooney or Higuain….infact wenger doesn’t need so many signing, ST,Fellain n Cesar..

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Marcus 🙂

    Thank you for a well-constructed and balanced post, with fine attention to detail. You are becoming more and more polished with your posts. Top stuff! 🙂

    I like what I have seen of Higuain and your post confirms he is a very fine striker.

    I don’t think he will come to Arsenal, though, as per the point I made in previous posts that Arsene will bank on Giroud and Pod improving further during their second season in the PL, and Theo having been promised to get a go at the central striker position as well. I don’t see Higuain playing in the hole at Arsenal, so for me he is not coming. Besides the DM position the nr.10 role is our biggest need this summer imo.

  7. James Bond says:

    Thanks Marcus, nice one

    yep, Higuain is a no brainer really, fits the bill and ticks all the boxes for me.

    however, knowing Arsene Wenger and the noises coming out from the Feillaini deal are of such magnitude (utter stupidity if true) that we’re not willing to meet the 22-23 million release clause for a player that had cost 17 million a fair few years ago, i mean really ? are we going to try to haggle over an a few extra million here n there for a player most teams would want ?

    same goes the pattern with higuain, i don’t see RM desperate to sell him for anything under 20 million….why should they ? just because the player and his agents (family want) ? at the end of the day, they can keep him on the bench for the entire length of his remaining contract as they are not a selling club (like us or get black mailed by players as easily as most clubs out there).

    besides when was the last time we got anyone from a big club ? yep, there lies your answer

    but yeah, i like everyone else would love him at Arsenal, if possible.

  8. malaysian gunner says:

    Don’t be surprised Wenger doesn’t bring in any of the high profile guys who can make a difference.He will baulk at the prices and say they are not value for money.
    Instead he will focus on youth. Instead of farming them out,he will draft the kids straight into the senior team. If the kids deliver ,it’s worth the gamble. The problem will arise when the gunners are exposed as old hat.
    Of course all this is not cut in stone. The fm could surprise us with some marquee buys. We will all just have to wait and see how the drama is played out.

  9. 17highburyterrace says:

    I would love to see Higuain at Arsenal but I agree with others that I think it’s a real long shot. (It’s not quite a ridiculous as Rooney coming–or so I hope….) For me, in fact, this is the one I really cannot allow myself to get excited about because I will be too disappointed when it doesn’t happen…. (In other words I truly rate him….)

    Reading the Spanish press it seems pretty clear that nothing can happen until RM get a manager under contract and he talks to the players. Any day now and then the trickle down can start to happen…

    The mobility of Benzema is why he is prized above Higuain. Getting out of Ronaldo’s way is the thing and being able to come back and get a key touch on the counter is (or was, under Mourinho) just as important as being a power guy who can receive a ball and fire it in. Maybe if Wenger really wants him, he should go for the RM job!!! (He is, after all, running his contract down, himself….) If anything is possible in the transfer window and we should consider all permutations, what about that one?….

    In truth (for Gerry) I’m not that down in the mouth about the TW….I just wonder why we’re getting another round of hype about our money, etc. Nobody moans like a Gooner (or so the country song should go…) so if we get Juventus’ reject (either Higuain or Jovetic) he will always be the one the Old Lady passed on, rather than our record signing. First miss and it’s “Wenger Out” all over again… While there’s a core of dedicated supporters who understand the game and that (re) building our team is a process, there are others who simply want to buy that feeling that they remember. The safer bet (the better value player) is Wenger’s MO…The more the pressure ratchets up the more he would tend to play it (I would think)….

    Again, the first major signing–by us or by our rivals–amongst all these linked names and the picture should (italics) get clearer….

  10. James Bond says:

    if all the sauces are to be believed then Wenger met with higuain/family/agents e.t.c in Paris ?

    i doubt if it was to discuss the weather, so taking the meeting into account it appears we’re deffo in for him and why shouldn’t he fancy a move to the EPL since fellow Argentinian team mates are lighting up the PL week in week out 😉

  11. Highbury Harmony says:

    JB, maybe it was to discuss baguettes?

    Not quite sure what is happening with the Higuain situation, as one day reports claim that Perez said Higuain is free to leave, then others on other days will state that no moves will be made until a new manager is announced. Then, there are more reports that claim Perez wants more money for Higuain than Arsenal have offered (believed to be £18 million). So what is it?

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    Or maybe AW was in Paris thinking about the PSG job…And suggesting that Higuain be the new Ibra…. 😀 We can spin the “facts” any which way we fancy, no?….

    IMO Higuain would be an ideal record breaking signing, a guy who has proven he can play and play from the bench if need be, i.e., more professional than the guy with the flaring ears…

    Regarding Argentinians in England….Anybody can do well at up in Manchester…. I would suggest that it’s a pretty big deal deciding on the island nation over something on the continent. Argentinian Spanish to Castellano is about the same size step as it might be to Italian…. English is tougher….

    Please don’t get my hopes up….(and I’ll not stomp on your beautiful man-love for the Shrekstar)…Deal? 😉 😆

  13. weedonald says:

    I hate to say it but most of what our gunner mates have written on this post is based on the media’s rumour-mongering and unproven hearsay. The reality usually turns out to be:

    1) Wenger doesn’t usually go for high profile signings who are over 20+M if he can avoid it.
    2) He likes to find relatively unknown but talented and undervalued players who can be moulded into better players as time goes on. There are still a few deals out there apparently.
    3) Despite this being the first season we supposedly have money to spend, Arsene is still frugal and economically conscious so he’ll try and get the biggest bang for the buck rather than blow it all on one or two superstars, imho.
    4) He has a few options when it comes to team formations and he will certainly weigh these options against bringing in someone who may require a more central role for the team, like Higuain. Higuain would become the main target man and that might not fit Wenger’s current approach. He would probably prefer that Giroud,Podolski,Cazorla and Walcott continue to spread the scoring burden around..
    5) I feel that too many gunners have been bitten by the silly season bug and, while I can sympathize with their desire to see Hiiguain, Rooney or whoever, at AFC,….lets face it, we are more likely to NOT recognize our new signings than jump for joy with a superstar(s) showing up in August.

    Expect to see a few youth talents promoted to occasional first team exercises, a few new faces, who we have rarely or never heard of show, up for pre-season and maybe a loanee or two trialed during the Asian tour….anything else would be gravy.

  14. Gerry says:

    Marcus – I have a confession to make. I play guess the author when reading BK blogs, and I am usually right … Today I got it wrong!

    I thought this had Double H’s stamp on it, but I will leave it to each of you as to who is most complimented by that? Ha ha.
    Seriously, no disrespect to either, such is the quality of the writing. Top post.

    Unfortunately, it is so good it might alert fans elsewhere to get excited at the prospect. But yes, he would tick a lot of the boxes. The only way we are likely to get him though, as I alluded to yesterday, is to cough the £25m cash now, and they can let their new manager use it as he wants. Judging by the Jovetic deal/non-deal, Juve are not in a position to do that?
    Now perhaps AW is calling their bluff, seeing as PSG are not going to release their man until they have a replacement lined up(Laudrup?). That could take time, and uncertainty is costing Real, as will doubling Ronaldo’s wages?? Mind the latter is earning so much money, it would be wise for him to move to a tax haven like Monaco, before he gets caught out like Messi with tax evasion. Big foreign earners are clearly going to be a target for the Spanish government, so there may be more high profile exits?

    I am with you Wee D, when it comes to fans taking this ‘silly season’ too seriously, and then vent their frustrations when non-events that turn out to be just that.

    The Fellaini thing is a fun one. Did someone just say we ‘could’ trigger his release clause, and the mediia did the rest? And now they have a double whammy with us ‘baulking’ at this fee? Was it a genuine inquiry or a distraction? The latter is my feeling, as he is not the ball playing beast that AW wants/likes. Despite him ticking the ‘presence’ (these are just for you HT”btw) box big time. It stops there. For that money, Strootman, would be more likely? Mind, for half that, a young German on my wish list would be the ‘value’ buy?

    £17m for Torres anyone? Nah I did not think so. Not to be ruled out though, as I don’t see him being Maureen’s type of player?

    I am waiting to see when BT switch the Sky Sports channels to their own, so I might get to watch the Under 21’s this weekend. Calculated risk by the Dutch to play the 2nd string, knowing they could still get to the final anyway? When it is over I am sure there will be a flurry of activity in the TW, with many heading to the EPL How many in our direction remains to be seen?

  15. jgc says:

    Hi

    Great post Marcus, and I, like many here, rate him. That said, to add something maybe different.

    We have 3 potential strikers, OG, Poldi and Theo. All three of whom play regularly and together.

    We are, dear god I hope, *not* keeping Bendtner or Chamakh et al. Add in that Ox needs more time on field and we are a touch crowded at mid, but not necessarily out wide, where Cazorla sometimes roams for Poldi.

    Then, when I do the math, I think we want another striker.

    One injury or OGs suspension was a look. We are not failing, but we are suddenly then, quite thin. When Theo moves central or Poldi, we lose something wide or in the middle as we shuffle players about.

    Equally, a pure striker like this would give us a very different look then with OG up front, and the two together would be interesting in a different formation. Yes, I know, AW and different formations are the oil and water of football.

    Still, it would, like a good preferably top, DM add flexibility, options and potential. All of which means we would be better and less one dimensional.

    Especially, if we really really really want to compete over all possible cups next year.

    Just some fuel for the fire… jgc

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning all 🙂

    Thanks for your replies to yesterday’s post and let’s have a look back at them when the Torture Window is finally closed (when the f*ck that ever is 😈 ).

    WeeD, good points but I don’t agree with your ‘pulling through the line of old trends’. Gazidis has said too much about spending money on quality players this summer for it not to happen at least partly. They might not be very big names, but well-known they are likely to be, and I reckon the Higuain falls into the latter category (which does not mean I believe he’ll join us, though).

    Gerry, I really enjoyed reading your comments over the last few days and you have been in fine form. I just don’t associate you with the kind of Gooners who believe/want us to sign many players in one go, so it is interesting to read your comments.

    17HT, good to hear you would be very excited if Higuain would join us this summer. I must say, I don’t feel like that, but I guess that is because we have a different view of where we really need to strengthen the team.

    GoonerB, saw your comment re Red Arse. I believe he is taking a bit of break of blogging as he does now and again. You might know, he has not been fully well for a long time and sometimes he needs to take a break from it/us all. Rest assured, when he finally returns he will be in fine blogging form again! 🙂

  17. mA says:

    nice work Marcus

    i’d definitely want to see Higuain lead Arsenal’s attack. You’ve clearly described his traits but what he also does best is holding up play-not only for others to join in but also he himself can turn quickly. His shooting is not that of van Judas (accuracy) but i can tell you that he will shoot till it works (a la Suarez). In addition, Higuain is quite hardworking and this means that he tries hard to help the team. He got no pace to burn but this is offset by the fact that he is a clever footballer who can time his runs almost perfectly.

    one of the things that he would automatically add to the team is acting as a positive “ego booster”. He does not seem to suffer from poor-attitude-syndrome like most stars.In fact, he was primarily used as a late substitute throughout last season and he always gave all he could (in the process outscoring a certain Frenchman).For the rumoured 25 mills I would definitely pay it upfront if I was in any position to do so.But as they say, it is up to Wenger and his men.

  18. Gerry says:

    Thanks TA for those nice words. Alas, it is the last week that I will be making more than one-liners over B’fast. For a week or so, at least

    I shall be blogging everyday on Royal Ascot next week. Would you believe I actually got a challenge on Timeform Radio this week by a fellow responder. I think I upset him when I said Handicaps were more of a challenge than the level weight contests he preferred? So I have to uphold my ability to do both?

    I am like you, in so far as this window should see a change in at least one purchase this time. I just hope AW does not shy away from the potential buys because their prices have risen in a competitive market. Young players with talent, and potential to improve here, would add to our squad at whatever price the market level puts on them? Not extremely so, naturally.

    I was looking down the list of players released, and saw not only how to spell Schwarzer’s name correctly – Schwarzer, but also that Wigan have released Di Santo? Got to be a good signing for a promoted club I would have thought.

    However, I think, – well I am always thinking, but sometimes more clearly than others? – that AW is holding back on some of these higher purchases, because it may limit how much he has for the potentially very good, but lower buys. Also, if Sanogo is proving good enough to share the load up front, he might be tempted to look elsewhere, say LW rather than striker, and that could be the ‘biggie’? Although Ryo might be due a run out there? Campbell on the other? So either he buys wisely on a few players(on my list, err um!), or there is a real biggie lined up ready to be unveiled on July 1st?

    i also think there will be late opportunities in August, as new mangers decide they don’t like who they have got? So eight weeks of endless torture for you still to come …

  19. Gerry says:

    igc and Ht17 – In my earlier post I said my parentheses ” were for you HT, but it might have been igc? I am confused now, I have been up too long … whoever??

  20. gregarious13 says:

    Great Post!

    I would live to see Higuain in an Arsenal shirt next season. I’ve always thought we’ve lacked players who can use both feet, especially in attack. Theo only wants it on his right just like Gervinho whereas Pod and Giroud strictly left. Higuain would be so unpredictable up front that he could be the difference in those scrappy draws we have away from home. We need a goal machine and he seems like one, so it seems logical to me. But then again who knows…

    Also this Fellaini malarkey has me biting my nails. I really hope Chelsea don’t pip us again like they did with Mata.

  21. Kingston says:

    I think he would be awesome for us! Sadly, like with Jovetic, Chelsea are apparently going to throw their hat into the ring, which must make them an attractive option. Just got to hope that a) Wenger’s pitch was strong enough b) we don’t fanny around with negotiations (Mata / Alonso springs to mind!) and c) Higuain didn’t get own with Mourinho!

    Re price, £20 – 30m for a top top quality player is no different to the prices Wenger paid for likes of Henry and Wiltord way back if taking inflation etc into mind. So shouldn’t be an issue when going for these type of players. Maybe that’s just me and simplistic view on this?

  22. Kingston says:

    Sorry, that was meant to read ‘get on with Mourinho’.

  23. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Marcus.. I love to see it happen also..
    But his transfer is becoming more uncertainty.. Maybe it’s time to look for someone else..

    Bring Bony and Van Ginkel from Vitesse.. 10 millions + 8 millions..
    Both of them will make a sensational move..
    And anyone still remember Kodongbia..?? His price is only 4 millions..
    Adler is only 6 millions.. wow.. Four of them are only 28 millions.. Isn’t is nice..?? hehehe..

  24. jgc says:

    All

    FWIW, AW has always been relatively quiet. So, we may hear relatively little until relatively later in the process. That said, I hope his process is relatively early this year and not August for anyone expecting to contribute in a big way.

    I also wouldnt ascribe to much to the order of buy/appearance since that can vary hugely with other teams and agents involved.

    Good reasons, IMO, to breathe deep and relax. All up tho I do enjoy the rumors a little because, no matter the reality of a Higuain, it still reminds me of offseason baseball trades and such when I was a kid really hoping my team would get those 1-2 players that might really take the team that last step…. Sound familiar? 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  25. James Bond says:

    HH,

    Perez would want more money for Higuain after all they are believed to be after “Suarez and Bale”, so the more money they generate from player sales the less they will have to fork out from their own coffers (not that they even need to sell any players to fund extravagant money signings but it keeps FFP in play i suppose).

    at the moment it’s musical chairs with the transfers/speculation.

    17ht,

    the power AW has at Arsenal and the salary he commands (the most in England now ever since SAF retired), makes me believe that he won’t be going anywhere anytime soon…why should he , when he may want to create history with arsenal and leave a legacy and i reckon that legacy doesn’t include being trophy less for 8 seasons in a row, no CL trophy e.t.c e.t.c

    it’s hard not to try to get our hopes up considering we have a transfer kitty one that doesn’t necessarily require us to sell our best players in order to generate the funds to acquire new players 🙂

  26. Hello Marcus,fellow gooners

    A neatly written post Marcus..kudos!!

    I agree with the need 2 purchase a ‘pure striker’, coz we only have one..but i sadly agree with TA’s sentiments…Le prof may opt 4 Ipod and Theo, which as JGC expertly pointed out, leaves us ‘thin’ in the flanks

    but fingers crossed..and have you guys seen…we have a new CHAIRMAN..Sir Chips Keswick(there’s a SIR in it..:)..)..let’s see what he has 2 offer 2 the red and white

  27. AFC says:

    Marcus, fine post. 🙂

    Real want around 25 mill (I believe) for Higuain whereas Wenger wants him for nearer to 20 mill. Same with Fellaini. His release clause is 23 mill (I believe) but Wenger wants him for 20 mill. I want to believe Wenger will spend over 20 mill but at the moment I cannot see him doing so. Wenger spending 20-30 mill on a player? I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Now onto Higuain. Higuain can only play as a ST and that is it. Higuain is a born goal scorer like Podolski but does not really have the versatility to play in many positions which I think Wenger wants. For example how would we play a fluid 3 with Higuain. I think Wenger is looking for a SS/AM who can create. One report was linking us with Suarez. Not saying we will buy him but Wenger would want a player similar. Suarez is versatile and can play ST, CF, LW and RW is a good finisher can dribble and even has a few tricks up his sleeve. I think Wenger will look for a player like this or even a classic no.10 like TA suggests.

  28. AFC says:

    Look at our attacking options like this.

    AM- Rosicky or Wilshere if needed
    RW/LW- Gervinho or the Ox
    RW/ST hybrid- Walcott
    No. 9- Giroud
    False 9- Podolski
    False 10/Central Winger- Santi Cazorla
    No. 10- ?

    So for me the next attacker to come will be a no.10 or an attacker who can play in all the attacking positions.

  29. James Bond says:

    and who would you ideally want as our no.10 – AFC

  30. Gerry says:

    AFC – You do realise you are in fact describing the attributes of my previously named vegetable? Albeit, still to be proven in the EPL?

    Mind if AW did not want that sort of player Higuain is, then I cannot see the £20m offer either? However, I think he wants an alternative to Giro, so it will vary our attack?
    There is for and against in every player i suppose, which is why AW is being cautious on paying OTT?

    There was a good write up on Bellerin this morning. He does not sound like he will be dreaming of Spanish teams anytime soon/ever?

    Alas, one of my alternatives to Le Gren has surfaced in an oblique way today. I am going to get as frustrated as AW if targets are revealed before they are wrapped up. Mind I did not see the Scandinavian striker coming, I had another in mind, and still available?

    Oh what fun. Back later, dogs to walk, tea to get …

  31. AFC says:

    JB, Cesc or Rooney. Cannot think of many other top no.10’s who we would be able to get.

  32. Admir says:

    Marcus, very nice post about a player that we’ve been calling to Arsenal even before season ended. 🙂

    Higuain is a top-class finisher but the fact Real have likes of Ronaldo (arguably one of the best players ever already) and Benzema (incredible talent) hasn’t helped Argentinian to enjoy being nothing more than a second fiddle.

    Now, it’s not like he is capable of scoring goals only. When Real Madrid won at Old Trafford this season, it was Higuain’s back-heel that found Oezil who fired a low cross for Ronaldo’s winning goal. Higuain would be a prolific striker we have needed ever since Van Judas left but I doubt he’s going to sign for us. Simply, Wenger has never spent amount of money Real are asking for Pipita and it’s not like Higuain is a player that guarantees trophies (Messi, Ronaldo, Falcao, Aguero). No, Argentinian will deliver goals…provided that he has a decent supply.

    That transfer would unsettle Giroud, Podolski and, to a lesser extent, Walcott so I don’t see it happening. Remember, Wenger could have signed Llorente, an Athletic Bilbao striker who has international experience, who would practically be “Giroud II” on a free transfer but didn’t so the Spaniard left Bilbao for Juventus instead.

  33. AFC says:

    What is really weird is why Wenger signed Giroud in first place when you argue there were better alternatives.

  34. AFC says:

    * could argue

  35. Highbury Harmony says:

    Not sure about that AFC, OG was rumoured to be chased by both Bayern and Chel$ea as well. He did have himself a fine season at Montpellier before he moved, not sure why that warranted interest from Bayern though!

    I think OG will be just fine, I’m just annoyed by the fact that we re-arrange our strategy and formation just to try and fit him into the starting line-up, when it’s clear in my eyes that he’s the perfect super sub and not entirely right for Wengerball.

    Adraino Galliani’s comments on El Shaarawy being sold at the right price is tormenting as I would love it if AW could bring him to Arsenal. Just another in a line of endless rumours!

  36. Highbury Harmony says:

    Hi Admir :),

    It was actually Ozil’s back heel that found Higuain who then sent a low cross over to Ronaldo ;).

    On the note of “upsetting” our current players, I think that’s a negligible point. I’m of the strong opinion that we should always buy the best players possible at reasonable prices if they’re available since they would be improvements on our current squad. You don’t get ahead by not buying players because it may upset certain players; they just have to live with the reality that they may just not be as good. If they don’t like it, out perform the incoming player and prove yourself.

    We played in a defensive formation last season because we simply lacked the personnel to play otherwise; Podolski, OG and Theo are not good enough as the lone ST and there’s just not enough high end talent in this squad to play a sustainable level of Wengerball football.

  37. AFC says:

    HH, that’s my point. He does not really fit into our system so why did Wenger buy him.

    I thought Higuain took a shot and not a cross which happened to fall at Ronaldo.

  38. Admir says:

    HH, thanks for correction! 😀 I watched the game at my cousin’s house on his not-so-big computer (he is a die-hard Real fan).

    I agree with you regarding what we SHOULD do and how we SHOULD act on the market. I was just trying to get inside Wenger’s head given how he has acted so far as our manager. 😉

    Giroud was the best goal-scorer in Ligue 1 and his team won the championship ahead of big spenders PSG mostly thanks to his goals. His physical presence is something we hadn’t had in our team for a while, he’s a goal-scorer capable of link-up play and that’s why he was signed. Though, I must say I wasn’t very excited about it – when I saw Wenger signed another left-footed striker, I knew what that meant regarding Van Judas.

  39. Highbury Harmony says:

    Admir, apparently you have better foresight than me! I really thought we had done enough in the signings of Poldi, OG and Santi to convince RVP to stay; additionally, I thought OG would be eased into the league as our option B to RVP…

    Good points on how AW may view incoming signings, but at the same time he’s never had the same funds at his disposal in the past like he does now.

  40. AFC says:

    HH, @ 19:15. That’s exactly what I thought. Wenger apparently even said he was going to play RVP, Giroud and Podolski all together. I think RVP wanted Wenger to sign more defensives players as well.

  41. Admir says:

    Hm… You know, whenever I hear about funds Wenger has on his disposal, I remember same kind of stories since 2007-08, while we were sitting on the top of the table. I googled a bit and found this one:

    http://www.index.hr/sport/clanak/wengeru-100-milijuna-eura-za-pojacanja-/359480.aspx

    Edelmen, according to this article from Croatian web-side index.hr (September 2007!), claimed Wenger will have 100 million euros for reinforcements in the summer 2008. “We have a great financial power that can make happen all transfer Wenger wants. We have 100 million euros on disposal and if Wenger wants that money for reinforcement, we’ll be glad to give it to him.”

    Now, our debt for Emirates is smaller but 100 million euros is a bigger amount than 70 million pounds.

  42. ProudGooner says:

    I like the player if he comes then that would be great, any of the strikers linked lately would be great i think because the more i think about are forward situation we are just 1 away. I have to give Walcott alot of credit because i think he is becoming he real deal, Giroud to is clearly seeing his position being talked about and from what i can see he is very, very keen to the highest hight’s at Arsenal i have big hopes for him still, but back to Walcott who was our top goal scorer i see him as a stronger version of Michel Owen in the future, if played central, the fact he has done it from the wing may keep him there for 1 more season. So not to far away at all.
    Podolski, Higuain, Walcott would be very good
    With an improving Giroud . It is strong as it is and can only get stronger next season no matter what happens inbetween. I would also like to keep Gervinho for at least 1 more season he is very skilful and we have not seen his best yet. That also give us 4 wingers with Ox, then Giroud and new player central so 2 there,or of course Theo.

  43. AFC says:

    Admir, we will know if the ‘money is there’ story is true by the end of TW.

  44. AFC says:

    Admir, also we could really spend 200 mill including wages if we really wanted to considering all the profit we have made since Wenger first joined us.

  45. OMGArsenal says:

    Invincible04 ……Fitzman could say what he wanted as he knew that Wenger’s real budget in 2008 was about 18M in total. That year we brought in 3 players for 17M total and sold for about the same (+/- 1M).
    You are right in saying he’s always had money to spend but more specifically SOME money, not a 70M nestegg that the media and Gazidis mentioned. He spent the most last season (about 30M) and doesn’t get panic attacks as you so blithely claim….he is frugal and takes his time….you are the one suffering panic attacks!

  46. James Bond says:

    i’m not sure why people think our debt is smaller and hence we can afford to spend money.

    no it is not, our debt payments are still the same and will remain the same for another couple of decades …even if we wanted to settle early there is no point due to penalty charges and so on.

    we may not be exactly in the same situation as before or as 2008 ( by that not needing to sell players for break even or a profit ), however, the debt is still there – the only thing that’s changed is that the fans are paying more money for the tickets, better commercial deals and revenues coming in and us not only getting rid of our best players but also our best earners (Henry was in excess of 200 k per week, Cesc over 120 k per week e.t.c).

    if you notice, every TW people have been making noises about us having money to spend and if wenger wanted it, he could.

    i’m not sure about any of you but why is it different this time ? yep, the TV money plus the commercial revenues that are on the up allow us to go on a spending free without having the need to sell.

  47. James Bond says:

    *debt is getting smaller but our interest payment remain the same

  48. AFC says:

    JB, we are one of the richest, best run and stable clubs in the world. Our debt is minimal (I believe) compared to other clubs of our stature. For many years we in the transfer window we have made a profit or only spent a few mill. Last season RVP and Song left and we brought in Santi, Podolski and Giroud. Take away the money gained from their sales away from the money spent on Santi, Podolski and Giroud and you will see how much we actually spent. With this 70 mill being available story I see it as the board playing games. It is just not good enough in my opinion.

    Look at West Ham. A much smaller club looking to move stadium yet they can offer 24 mill for Solado or Negrado (not sure) always get them two mixed because they are so alike.

  49. James Bond says:

    exactly.

    it comes down to ambition, doesn’t it when you say it like that, AFC

    one has to question the boards, managers and the people responsible (decision makers)…what their aim and ambitions are for the club, i could forgive the past solely on the premise of us moving to the emirates – fine, our hands were tied, money was tied in developing the high bury flats e.t.c and then the housing market crashed in 2008 on wards which didn’t help,

    but looking at the bigger picture, we really need to be making good quality “intent signing/signings” to send the message across to other teams.

    when you mention west ham then i can tell you the major difference between a “big club like us which is well run” and a club with ambitions…. Ownership !…WHU have owners who take more interest in their team actually winning instead of just generating the monies…even their directors/vice chairman (karen brady) is very actively involved, week in week out…they engage with the fans – direct ownership contact….they listen to the fans and then try to make it happen ! unlike our club, we ask for a decent signing and then we get mocked by the names of Cavani and Messi by the one and only AW 🙂 i’m sure most of us fans would find that amusing and funny but personally i find that insulting how he has the audacity to mock us like that.

    all will be forgiven though if we get higuain 😉

    there is your answer.

  50. AFC says:

    JB, if we get serious I can forgive the board but what I cannot take is the board telling us some bullshit about how one day money is there and the next day we cannot afford to spend as we are debt. I am so sick of this debt excuse. What club doesn’t have debt. We are on the brink of success not on the brink of relegation or administration. I could even understand Liverpool if they did not want to spend with the position they are now in, no CL football, maybe not even Europa (if I am correct?) and Kenny wasting hundreds of millions on flops but even they are buying players and are trying to spend to get back to where they were (challenging for titles and playing CL football. Winning trophies gets you money so any money spent on players would be likely to be recovered with added profit.

  51. James Bond says:

    there is another way of putting this as well,

    look at man utd, they are covered from top to bottom in debt when you look at the 450 million figure,

    still they manage to spend shit loads of money year in year out to improve the squad and win titles….

    when everyone looks back in the history books, all they will be looking at is the number of trophies as that equates to success , no one will give a $£”$!£!”£!”£”! as to how much debt Man utd were in e.t.c e.t.c

    you win trophies that’s success – success attracts more fans , gets you more fans, you expand globally as a club – the money you generate automatically goes up by you winning things and that takes care of the debt payments and so on – win win, no ?

  52. James Bond says:

    good point, AFC

    it will take a very brave man to come forward and even try to defend such stupidy (weedonald may come out and surprise us all 😉

    either we have the funds or we don’t, but from the last 5 years it’s a lot of talk really.

    you see the clubs who have money to spend hardly ever come out and say, ok, we have 50 million available for our manager, 70 million, 100 million, there is never a fixed amount, they just say, we’re gonna be buying players even if they go well over 100 million (chelsea, man city e.t.c) but note how we always have to put a limit “on our war chest available to AW, if he wishes to use it”.

  53. weedonald says:

    JB…..What stupidity do you want me to defend….yours? That is indefensible:)

    Anyway I do agree that it is curious AFC and Gazidis have actually named a number….it is so contrary to what usually occurs at AFC in their veiled secrecy about transfer dealing of any sort, and for that matter most financial affairs. I am curious if putting a limit is factual, not that the BOD don’t but, I doubt that they have ever stated a ceiling in public, before Ivan did it a few weeks ago. I have always heard that Wenger has a budget, has some money, which,by the way he did spend over the years. He has spent more than any AFC manager before him and in general gotten a lot of bang for his buck, despite some poor buys as well.

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