Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Price Is Right for Potential Target Gonzalo Higuain

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IMay 22, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 03:  Gonzalo Higuain of Real Madrid celebrates his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Real Madrid and Galatasaray at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 3, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger, it's time to open up your wallet and end the monotony. 

For nearly the past decade, Arsenal has become predictable: Top-four finish, fail to win a trophy, refuse to overspend in the summer. Lather, rinse, repeat. 

That's not exactly meant as criticism, though. Wenger's Gunners have now qualified for the Champions League in 17 straight seasons. The magnitude and consistency of that feat cannot be overstated. 

But as Gooners frustratingly know all too well, while the build up has been fantastic, the finish has been lacking. Since winning the FA Cup in 2005, Arsenal has immersed itself in an eight-season trophy drought. 

With oodles of cash to spend this summer, it's time for Wenger to bring Arsenal from great to elite. 

That starts with Gonzalo Higuain, who, according to The Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson, is on the radar:

Wenger was interested in Higuaín before he even joined Real Madrid from River Plate in 2007 and there is a feeling that he could now be attainable for what would be a club-record transfer fee of £19 million.

Higuain represents the exact type of move Arsenal needs to make. A transfer fee of £19 million would shatter the club record of £15 million for Andrei Arshavin in 2009, and it would suggest the Gunners are ready to bid with the big boys. 

But it's not just a hey-look-how-rich-we-are type of move. Higuain is actually worth it. 

In 26 La Liga appearances (and just 17 starts) for Real Madrid this season, the Argentine netted 14 goals and five assists. He compiled an average match rating of 7.18, sixth best on the squad. 

Moreover, his efficiency was absolutely jaw-dropping:

He's tough to move off the ball and has world-class finishing ability.

That's precisely what Arsenal needs up front. Three of its top-four goal scorers in 2012-13, Theo Walcott, Santiago Cazorla and Lukas Podolski, spent a majority of their time as attacking midfielders or on the outside. 

The need for another weapon up front—a true striker who is strictly there to find the back of the net—is apparent. Olivier Giroud was solid in that role, but Higuain, who has dominated La Liga for the past five seasons, is of higher quality than the Frenchman. 

Not only will £19 million buy the Gunners an elite striker who will instantly improve the club's attack, depth and versatility, but it will prove crucial in helping end the cycle of trophy-less seasons.

Wenger is known to be frugal, but that's money well spent.