The race for Gonzalo Higuain this summer was frenetic, and bordering on absurd with a plethora of clubs keen, not keen and then keen again.
Case in point, Arsenal. They could have signed, sealed and delivered Higuain in a matter of days if they wanted to - but Arsene Wenger got it in his head that Liverpool would allow Luis Suarez to leave for North London. He was wrong.
By the time they realised that it was too late, Higuain had joined Napoli as the replacement for PSG bound Edinson Cavani for a reported fee of £34.5 million.
Of course Arsenal are now fairly happy with their lot, and the player they did manage to sign from Real Madrid.
And Higuain is happy where he is, as he revealed to a Spanish radio station today:
“President Aurelio De Laurentiis convinced me very quickly. I am grateful for the seven years in Madrid, but in Napoli I have an affection that every player needs. Everything is better when you have the absolute confidence of your teammates, the directors and the club. I am very happy here. In Madrid I had many years at a high level, but I constantly had to prove something that I had already demonstrated. I needed a change of scenery and new challenges, a chance to look for new things in my life. It is an important challenge – I want to take Napoli to the top!”
Of course Arsenal fans would still love to have Higuain at the club - as they are clearly thin on the ground when Olivier Giroud is unavailable.
But judging by these latest comments from Higuain it is probably best for all parties he never completed a move to The Emirates.
He clearly wanted to be the main striker wherever he went this summer, and not have to play second fiddle to anyone.
A move to Arsenal would have left him in a similar situation to the one he had in Madrid - and have left one of Europe’s top marksmen sitting on the bench, whether it was Giroud or Higuain.
But as much as Arsenal fans likely wish him well, they won’t on the 11th December - when they take on The Gunners in Campania.
image: © Jan S0l0