In my article of three weeks ago, I lauded the new Arsenal mindset of expressing and interest in buying Gonzalo Higuain, the talented Real Madrid striker, at a club record price of around £23 Million.
At that stage, I felt encouraged that a move like this could set other similar moves in motion. However, my hopes were dashed when newspaper reports surfaced early last week to the effect that Florentino Perez, the president of Real Madrid, denied that Arsenal have even made an official offer for the player, and that in any event, they expected to keep Higuan rather than to sell him.
Confusing and very disappointing.
Higuain is a very talented player whose father was an accomplished defender in his own right, who played for some of the biggest Argentinean clubs in his younger days. At 25 years of age, Gonzalo Higuain is alert, can reportedly move across the forward line with ease and has an amazing presence in the six yard box.
I can see why Wenger would be interested in him, but what I don’t understand is why he didn’t or hasn't pushed for him more forcefully. He is a player of quality which Wenger could surely have developed even further. Another chance gone begging, and yet another player frustratingly lost. It goes without saying that Arsenal could do with more strikers (as well as a central defender), but more importantly, their promises of splashing the cash seemed not to have materialised, until, that is, their jaw-dropping bid of an astounding £30 million for the very volatile but talented 26-year-old Luis Suarez.
I didn’t see that one coming. Suarez is a handful. His antics on the pitch almost eclipse his outstanding goal scoring record this season of 28 goals in all competitions, 21 of which were in the League. In the 2009/10 season, he scored 49 goals in 48 games which is an astounding achievement.
So, the player’s talent is not in dispute but his behaviour on the pitch is. The astounding fact is not that however. All of a sudden, Arsenal is prepared to throw a huge unprecedented sum of money at a deal which is by no means a sure thing.
Not the normal ‘level headed’ approach of the Arsenal board some might say. Even more astounding is that, having been flatly refused, they are now upping their offer to £35 million! This is despite the fact that Liverpool have categorically stated that they would not sell him for less than £40 million, and that Suarez himself has stated publicly that if he left Liverpool, he would want to go back to Spain and not play in England.
So I am confused. Liverpool will very likely reject the £35 million as well… then what? Having made Suarez their primary target for this transfer window, will Arsenal then up the stakes to the asking price of £40 million, and if they do, will Liverpool sell?
In my view, probably not…Suarez was their one and only outstanding player last season. Even with all the issues surrounding him, he is still very valuable to them.
He is not likely to go to Arsenal. If he does, Wenger would have pulled off a huge coup, and would have shattered the club record for a transfer deal. It defies (Arsenal) logic, and although the transfer window is not yet closed, with only one signing completed (Yaya Sanogo from French second division side Auxerre) things are looking anything but rosy for the Gunners.
Hopefully, they will still be able to pull something positive out of the hat, but it is getting increasingly difficult to predict where this season’s transfer bids will take them.
Now let us know your views...
image: © Viking-