Gonzalo Higuain Transfer Would Mean a Seismic Shift for Arsenal
One way or the other, the Gunners won't have to wait much longer now to see where Higuain will end up. Geoff Sweet of The Sun reported that a deal is very close to being done. Higuain's father, Jorge, said:
Nothing has yet been signed but I assure you the negotiations between the clubs are at an advanced stage. We won’t agree a contract before the clubs reach a transfer deal. I’m sure Arsenal made a big offer, and Juventus.
Spanish football expert Guillem Balague reported that both Juventus and Arsenal have agreed to terms with the striker.
Juve and Arsenal have agreed personal terms with Higuain and will fight it off with Madrid. Biggest offer will take him— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) June 24, 2013
In three of the last five seasons, Higuain has scored 20-plus league goals. He's not a world-class striker; rather, he's just below that level. You look at the list of top strikers, and you wouldn't put him ahead of Robin van Persie, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Radamel Falcao, Luis Suarez or Robert Lewandowski, to name a few.
The 25-year-old is good, but he's not that good.
Higuain is not the missing piece of the puzzle. He alone won't make the Gunners automatic title contenders. There are still other issues on the club that Arsene Wenger needs to address. But Higuain is a great start.
Arguably, the bigger impact from the move would come off the pitch.
The Gunners aren't loathe to buying players completely. The problem is rarely do they purchase senior-level players for anything more than £10-15 million. If they do, the player is coming on a reduced fee either because of age or his present club is in financial trouble.
A Higuain transfer would likely be around £22 million, breaking the club record. Plus, this is a player in the prime of his career coming from one of the biggest clubs in the world.
Rather than seeing talented players walking out the door, here is one who is making a commitment to Arsenal's future. That can't help but to rub off on other transfer targets. They'll think that if Higuain is going, then the club must really be serious about challenging Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City.
For years, supporters have been hearing that Arsenal have money to spend. They just chose not to spend it. After a while, people started wondering if there really was the kind of money available that the club claimed. If there was, who's decision was it not to use it?
There seems to be a misconception in some people's minds that Wenger never spent money when Arsenal were successful and winning league titles in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Dennis Bergkamp came in for £7.5 million in 1995. Thierry Henry cost £10 million, Marc Overmars was worth £7 million. And then there were the high-profile transfers of Sylvain Wiltord, Francis Jeffers, Andrey Arshavin and Jose Antonio Reyes that never really worked out.
(Note: Prices are according to TransferLeague.co.uk.)
Henry and Overmars both left for huge fees that made the club a huge profit. The issue now is that when Arsenal sell somebody like Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri or Alex Song, they didn't bring in the proper replacements.
Arsenal spent money when necessary in the past, but as transfer fees and player contracts have become inflated, Wenger has been loathe to spend too much. Plus, there was the issue of limited revenue as a result of building the Emirates and the low sponsorship deals the club had to agree to in order to fund the new stadium.
By purchasing Higuain, the Gunners are finally putting their money where their mouth is. This would be a signal to Arsenal supporters and the rest of the Premier League that the Gunners are no longer satisfied to simply finish in the top four. From here on out, the club is willing to spend the money necessary to fuel a title run.
Arsenal aren't going to become like a Chelsea or Manchester City. Instead, they will spend money when appropriate and stay in the running to bring in top quality players, which is something that hasn't been the case in the last few years.
It's about time that Arsenal supporters had a summer they could enjoy.
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