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Liverpool Transfer News: Gonzalo Higuain Rumours Addressed by Agent

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2014

NAPLES, ITALY - OCTOBER 26:  Gonzalo Higuain of Napoli celebrates after scoring his third goal during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Hellas Verona FC at Stadio San Paolo on October 26, 2014 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

When Liverpool were banging in the goals with a perfunctory panache in the latter stages of the 2013/14 campaign, there will have been few predicting that a few months down the line that the club would be in seemingly desperate need of a new centre-forward.

The good old days? Liverpool's sensational goalscoring from 2013/14 seems a long way off.
The good old days? Liverpool's sensational goalscoring from 2013/14 seems a long way off.Alex Livesey/Getty Images

But with Daniel Sturridge showcasing an infuriating patent for picking up niggles, Mario Balotelli struggling to find his clinical edge and Rickie Lambert yet to make any kind of impression at Anfield, recent murmurs point towards the club bolstering their front line with some quality additions in January. 

And while reports have suggested that the Reds were considering making a January swoop for Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, per Jamie Anderson of the Express, the player’s agent and brother, Nicolas, has claimed that there’s been no contact with any English club since the Argentine spoke to Arsenal prior to his move to Naples, per Radio CRC (h/t Italian football writer David Amoyal):

David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal

Higuain's agent Nicolas:"The rumors about Arsenal & Liverpool? No representative from either club has contacted me" to Radio CRC

David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal

Higuain's agent Nicolas:"Only before his arrival at Napoli did I have contacts with Arsenal" to Radio CRC

After enduring a torrid start to the campaign with the Partenopei, Higuain rediscovered his form in earnest with a magnificent hat-trick against Verona in their last outing—his first goals of the Serie A campaign. Here he is with the match ball, courtesy of 101 Great Goals:

101 Great Goals @101greatgoals

Off the mark! Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain netted a hat-trick in 6-2 win over Verona [Video] http://t.co/ZePywfyyDn http://t.co/T8HdvGX2SP

But that shouldn’t gloss over the fact that the 26-year-old is a player that’s looked a little dishevelled at the Stadio San Paolo so far this season. Maybe that’s understandable, given a recent incident that occurred following their Europa League tie with Young Boys Bern, per Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports:

Tancredi Palmeri @tancredipalmeri

Unbelievable in Bern:Napoli's bus left the stadium in hurry to escape from fans assault, leaving behind Higuain and Albiol at the antidoping

Napoli enjoyed a decent 2013/14 season under the tutelage of Rafael Benitez, but their early-season momentum was sapped after losing in the Champions League qualification round to Athletic Bilbao. It was a loss made all the more concerning given the player’s insistence that top-tier European football was critical, per Ashley Clements of the Mail Online.

Liverpool are a team that could afford Higuain that standard of football, and looking at things from a Reds’ perspective, if they're to qualify for Europe’s elite competition for a second successive season, a player of the former Real Madrid man's quality would be a major boost to their chances.

Here’s the kind of predatory instincts that would surely endear Higuain to the Kop:

As far as January options go, Higuain is a perfect option for the Reds, and with Arsenal having bolstered their forward line with Danny Welbeck—not to mention Olivier Giroud’s imminent return from injury—Brendan Rodgers should feel as though he has an excellent chance of luring Higuain away from Italy.

Napoli are in a financial plight despite the sales of Lavezzi and Cavani.
Napoli are in a financial plight despite the sales of Lavezzi and Cavani.Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Despite the relatively recent money-spinning sales of Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani, Napoli are currently in an extremely precarious financial position. And although Higuain's agent has insisted no approach has been made, if a transfer bid of clout was lodged, it’s difficult to see how the Partenopei hierarchy could turn it down. 

Liverpool are reportedly set to bring in Divock Origi—a player they signed from Lille in the summer, but loaned back to the French outfit—in January in an attempt to alleviate their striker deficiencies, per Anthony Chapman of the Express. And while he is undeniably talented and supremely dynamic, he remains a little rough round the edges. 

Origi is a talent, but still a little raw.
Origi is a talent, but still a little raw.Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Higuain is the finished article, though. If the Reds are serious about finishing in the upper reaches of the table, he’s the man that they should pursue, and given Napoli’s current predicament, a player that could well be an attainable acquisition.

The Argentina international has the quality to be playing for one of Europe’s elite outfits, and while Napoli are a team that’s flirted with title challenges and the Champions League’s latter stages, their potential to do so over a sustained period of time is questionable. Despite Liverpool’s turbulent start to the campaign, there is a squad in situ at the club that has a bright long-term future.

On the cusp of the peak years of his career, Higuain is a man that can be a vital part of that.

And although some reports have emerged suggesting that he wouldn’t fancy a switch to the Premier League should it arise, per Ben Jefferson of the Express, he’d surely have to consider a crack at England’s top flight with one of Europe’s most illustrious footballing institutions.

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