In the space of little more than a few days, Gonzalo Higuain’s Real Madrid career has gone from looking done and dusted to something much more valuable for both club and player.
Last week, Real president Florentino Perez told Univision (h/t Goal.com) that the club don’t want the Arsenal target to leave, opening the door for the Argentine to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu, it would seem.
Would Real Madrid be better off selling Higuain?
Competing mainly with Karim Benzema for a starting place, last season saw Higuain take on perhaps more of a bit-part role than the player will have wanted.
However, with both strikers mustering just 19 La Liga starts in the term, Benzema and Higuain may have been closer in the competition than many might suggest.
In fact, in terms of sheer goal count, it was Higuain who finished the season as the more prolific asset, netting 16 goals in that space of time as opposed to Benzema’s tally of just 12.
According to Univision (h/t Sky Sports), Perez expanded upon his position when it comes to the forward, adding: "What's more no-one from Arsenal has come to us and made us any offers at all for him. There are no offers on the table."
Of that, Carlo Ancelotti should be glad. At the Santiago Bernabeu, the Italian is inheriting a seriously talented squad, but one which does have its weaknesses. However, Higuain shouldn’t be counted amongst those weaknesses.
In 132 starts in the Spanish top flight, the 25-year-old has netted a quite incredible score of 107 goals, equating to more than a goal every other game. That is not the kind of resource a club should be looking to get rid of.
As a result of Jose Mourinho’s tactics, Higuain sometimes found himself to be a victim of team choice, riding the bench where other managers might have him in the spotlight.
Under Ancelotti, the striker can only hope that the squad rotation that his new boss used at Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea is once again put into place in Madrid, allowing him to prove himself when it matters.
Before leaving River Plate in his younger years, Higuain was regarded as one of Argentina’s greatest rising talents. Unfortunately for him, his development has been slightly obstructed by the constant influx of talent coming to Real Madrid, but he is by no means too old to fulfil such high expectations.
Given his chance, Higuain can instead become one of several spearheads in the Real attack, reviving a Madrid career which, for the past few weeks, has looked as though it may be coming to its end.
Instead, the club could yet hang onto a player who’s been followed by goals in all parts of his Real Madrid tenure, ridding them of the need to search for a replacement.