We’ve been duped.
In mid-June, Wayne Veysey of Goal.com reported that Arsenal officials flew to Madrid to try to land forward Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid. Sid Lowe of The Guardian reported that the Gunners were on the verge of acquiring Higuain for £23 million, and that Real Madrid gave him permission to complete the deal.
Should Arsenal bid for Higuain?
And yet, no deal has been finalized. It doesn’t appear that one is going to be finalized any time soon either, mainly because Arsenal never made the Argentinian’s club an offer. That, and Real Madrid wants to hang onto Higuain, per Jack Lang of The Mirror.
“We don’t want Higuain to leave,” said president Florentino Perez of the current situation. “What’s more, no one from Arsenal has come to use and made us any offers at all for him. There are no offers on the table.”
Let’s review quickly.
First, there was interest. Then, there was an offer and a near-finalized deal. Now, there was never any offer and it seems unlikely that Real Madrid would accept a bid from Arsenal involving Higuain at all. So, according to Perez, The Gunners aren’t as close to landing the forward as we were all led to believe.
Who should we believe?
Well, let’s assume there was never an offer put on the table for Arsenal to acquire Higuain. How in the world could the club not be focused in on developing a strategy and eventually make an offer that Real Madrid would be forced to accept? Arsenal desperately need a forward, and the Argentinian would be a perfect fit.
Higuain scored 16 goals and racked up five assists in 19 appearances in La Liga this past season, as well as a goal and two assists in six UEFA Champions League fixtures, per WhoScored. He’d certainly be an upgrade over the likes of Olivier Giroud, who scored 11 goals and tallied three assists in 24 Premier League appearances.
Arsene Wenger must know that the talent he has at the club now isn’t enough to win a championship. Higuain could make all the difference. But while Arsenal apparently aren’t very busy pursuing the 25-year-old, the club has its eyes on another big name.
Arsenal made a £30 million bid to Liverpool with the hopes of landing Luis Suarez but was rejected, according to Phil McNulty of the BBC. While adding Suarez would definitely make Arsenal a more dangerous club, that’s a ton of money. B/R’s Nick Akerman didn’t like the decision to bid for Suarez one bit, and he’s not wrong either.
Phil McNulty of the BBC thinks there was some strategy behind it:
Have to agree with wise words elsewhere that Arsenal move for Liverpool's Luis Suarez sounds like a push to move the Higuain deal along.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) July 8, 2013
If McNulty is correct, and Arsenal are still focused on trying to acquire Higuain, then it does make some sense. But what if Liverpool accepted the bid from the Gunners? Then Arsenal would be stuck with a great player who’s mightily overpaid. That’s not going to happen now, but in that scenario, Arsenal definitely wouldn’t get Higuain.
Wenger needs to do everything in his power to improve his club this summer, and making an insanely high bid for Suarez isn’t going to help.
Arsenal have to make Real Madrid an offer for Higuain. He must be the main target. No more playing games. It’s time to sit down, discuss the potential transfer and make it happen.