It was one of the most interesting pieces of transfer news to follow this summer – and the race for Gonzalo Higuain was frenetic, and bordering on absurd, with many clubs keen on snapping up the Argentine goal-machine after he admitted a desire to leave Real Madrid.
Case in point … Arsenal. They could have signed, sealed and delivered Higuain in a matter of days if they wanted - but Arsene Wenger got it in his head that Liverpool would allow Luis Suarez to leave for North London. We all now know that he was wrong.
By the time he 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.
Since then he revealed his happiness at Napoli and that he felt ‘loved’ by the club before even signing the deal.
And the fans really have taken to him. Higuain is vastly popular in Naples – with his face everywhere you turn in the football mad city.
You can even buy Higuain shirts from the very top of Mount Vesuvius – such is the scale of the affection in the Neapolitan area, it transcends volcanic zeniths.
Now the striker wishes to return the favour, by bringing trophies to Naples:
“I’m here to make history for this club. I want to win for the people of Naples, to pay them back for the happiness they have given me since I arrived. All games are important for us. We know, for example, that we can’t make any mistakes against Parma. It is true that the championship is long, but we need to win so that we go to Dortmund with hope.”
Napoli can qualify for the final 16 of the Champions League with a draw against Borussia Dortmund next week – and Higuain is clearly hopeful of doing it.
With such a result, Arsenal would also be through (assuming they beat perennial whipping boys Marseille) so Higuain’s ambition may eventually be good news for the Gunners faithful.
image: © Jan S0L0