Did Arsenal dodge a €34.5m crock?

Arsenal were strongly linked with Gonzalo Higuain over the summer, and his new side Napoli are getting twitchy about his fitness.

They say 'Arsene Knows', but for much of the transfer window fans were perplexed at the manager's decision making.

The one which caused the most controversy was Arsenal switching their attention from Gonzalo Higuain to chase Luis Suarez, with the Argentine ending up signing for Napoli.

Four goals in nine appearances for Napoli so far this season confirms the striker's consistency, but the Italians are reportedly becoming nervous about his fitness.

Higuain missed two games, including the loss to Arsenal in the Champions League with a hamstring injury.

Napoli believe the injury was not one he suffered at the club, but was one he inherited at former club Real Madrid.

Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo report: "The problems that plague Gonzalo Higuain since his arrival, and which prevented him playing regularly, are the product of a bad injury suffered in Madrid.

"Medical tests have revealed a scar on the flexor muscle in his right leg, which has not ever created serious problems, so he has continued to play both in Madrid and in Naples. But last month, the muscle is inflamed forcing him to miss the games."

Higuain was back in action for Napoli in midweek against Marseille, assisting their winner - but had to be substituted off in the 57th minute.

It is clear he is not at 100 per cent, and Napoli know it. Only an hour before the weekend's match against Roma, Higuain approached manager Rafa Benitez and told him he was not fit to start. He came off the bench to play the final 23 minutes of the 2-0 loss.

The problem for Napoli is that with him and without him they are a different side, but risk inflaming his injury further. Rafa Benitez did exactly the same to Fernando Torres at Liverpool, which many considered had a severely detrimental effect on his career.

If Higuain had joined Arsenal, he could have been rotated with Olivier Giroud, and it would have been a far better move for his fitness in the short-term and the long-term. The striker also has a history of back and knee problems.

The Argentine can of course haunt Arsenal in their final Champions League game in the San Paolo, but the major positive for the Gunners is that the Italians simply have no guarantee he will be fit.

Did Arsenal do well to miss out on Higuain, or do you still wish they had signed him?

image: © dundasfc

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