Gonzalo Higuain is close to returning from injury after a two month spell on the touchline, and he may well be the boost Los Blancos need to kick-start their season.
Real Madrid are embroiled in an internal battle opposing captain and coach, and losing sight of archrivals Barcelona 16 points ahead of them in the league table. In a poll by Madrid newspaper AS asking what grade out of 10 Madrid deserved for 2012, more than 55 percent of participants considered it wasn’t worthy of a five.
This is clearly accentuated by the recent poor displays from Los Blancos; after all, in 2012 they won the Liga, made it to the semis of the Champions League and won the Supercup against Barça.
But the club is now in crisis and it needs to send a strong signal to its fans to get them back on side. With the January transfer window looming, it would seem logical for Madrid to incorporate a new major signing to achieve just that.
That signing should be Gonzalo Higuain.
This season Higuain has made 10 appearances in the league, scoring seven goals and providing another two to his teammates. His numbers are better than those of Benzema, Ozil or Di Maria.
In fact they are better than any of his colleagues except for Cristiano Ronaldo, and with 0.7 goals per game against 0.82 he’s not even that far off the Portuguese superstar. Last season, the one seen as Benzema’s explosion, Higuain had more goals, a better scoring ratio and more assists than the Frenchman in the league.
Despite his unquestionable numbers and commitment, Madrid have been ambiguous in showing their appreciation, refusing to better his contract during the summer. On top of that, despite the coach’s reassurance, Higuain has been left out of Madrid’s key ties, in particular starting on the bench in the Clasico at the Nou Camp in October.
Inevitably, other major European clubs have come knocking.
First, links appeared to Italian champions Juventus, looking for a striker to lead their attack and complete the only area of their game that is not world class. Then Chelsea came along and were rumored to be planning to revolutionize their attack by bringing Higuain to replace the disappointing Fernando Torres.
Both clubs would probably offer the kind of wages his agents have been asking for. More importantly, he would be almost guaranteed a spot in the starting XI and feel the appreciation his footballing skills deserve.
Higuain is one of the figures that unites Madrid fans, who have shown great appreciation for his goal scoring abilities, as well as his work ethic and commitment to the club. Renewing Higuain’s contract and making sure he does not leave Madrid in January or this summer would be the kind of unexpected Christmas present any Merengue would appreciate.