Another week passes by and still no
signings. It’s not a concern at present, as there’s still two full calendar
months before the transfer window will come to an end.
That said the most
publicised rumour has to be that of Gonzalo Higuain. He is a potential signing
that has caused a lot of anxiety amongst the Arsenal faithful with the whole
on/off deal. I must confess, I do think a lot of supporters are going a little
bit overboard with what he is capable of.
Higuain is a good
player but not world class like a lot would have you believe. Although this may
come across as me being critical, I just want to shed a bit of perspective on
things because a lot of supporters are dining out on what is a fantastic
shot/goal ratio which is around 35%. With any signing we make I like to look at
their goals tally, as it is often a good barometer of what to expect. What is
also insightful is their performances in big games, so I thought I’d highlight Real
Madrid’s biggest games of last season that involved Higuain.
Barcelona A (La Liga)
29 minutes – 0 goals
Barcelona H (Spanish Cup)
30 minutes – 0 goals
Barcelona A (Spanish Cup)
70 minutes – 0 goals
Dortmund H (CL group stage)
45 minutes – 0 goals
Dortmund A (CL group stage)
18 minutes – 0 goals
Man City H (CL group stage)
73 minutes – 0 goals
Man Utd H (CL 2nd Round)
31 minutes – 0 goals
Man Utd A (CL 2nd Round)
90 minutes – 0 goals
Dortmund A (CL Semi Final)
67 minutes – 0 goals
Dortmund H (CL Semi Final)
56 minutes – 0 goals
Atlético Madrid N (Spanish Cup Final)
30 minutes – 0 goals
To say I was surprised was an understatement. Collectively that reads as:
539 minutes played
Some may lay blame
at the door of José Mourinho but he’s not going to ignore a quality striker for
three years. Higuain’s record for starting league games under Mourinho is 19
and that was this season. It was 18 in 11/12 and 16 in 10/11. So we could be
signing a striker that hasn’t played a full season in over three years
(possible jaded issues here). You have to go back to 09/10 to see him start 28
league games and he scored 27 goals and that was under the leadership of a
certain Manuel Pellegrini.
Ivan Gazidis said
we were in the market to compete and when you see the likes of Edinson Cavani, Radamel
Falcao and Wayne Rooney available it feels like we haven’t adjusted to that
change in mentality. We have cash to invest and on the basis of any deal of three/four
years then that will be heavily subsided through news deals such as shirt
sponsorship and kit manufacturing.
The truth is that
Higuain is better than Olivier Giroud and he has a lot of qualities which the
side doesn’t possess. Such as having a striker that can dribble and commit
defenders, which isn’t what our depth at striker currently offers. I just think
we need to calm ourselves and yes, Higuain has an excellent shot/goal
conversion but in truth many sides roll over against Real and Barcelona and
5’s, 6’s and 7’s are frequent column fillers in their score lines. Sadly for
me, when I think of Higuain I think of him missing a chance, probably in the
same vein that most of you view Giroud. His performance against Lyon in the
Champions League always sticks on my head, he had an absolute stinker and as a
result Real were eliminated.
Whilst we haven’t
signed anyone yet, when we do, I expect them to be top top quality and I
genuinely don’t believe Higuain is. He is a good player but we have many of
those, we need to crank it up a notch and signing Real’s #2 striker comes
across as more of the same. Let’s not also forget that this is a would be a
step down for Higuain but it is an opportunity for him to become the main man,
after spending his career in the shadow of Ronaldo and Raul.
Will we sign him?
Who knows. But if we don’t, I won’t be particularly bothered. There are plenty
more Higuain’s in the sea.
I’m a 30 something year old Gateshead lad but thankfully my Dad is a cockney and he put me on the right path in life, taking me to my first Highbury game at the tender age of six.
Despite my obvious geographical disadvantage I am a season ticket holder and I attend quite a few away days as well.
I like to express my opinion which resulted in me starting a blog. I’m delighted to be part of the WTTGT team and you can read ’The Michael Jeffares Column’ every Friday without fail.