A one-time target of Premier League side Arsenal, Gonzalo Higuain, 25-years-old, is back amongst the goals for Serie A side Napoli having gone five games without a return due to a brace against Lazio on Monday, December 2. The 4-2 victory fortifies the club's third-place standing in the Italian division as they can now focus on closing the gap between themselves and second-ranked Roma (three points).
The potential availability of Higuain had interested Arsene Wenger, who bid for the Argentine in the summer, only to baulk at the eventual fees Real Madrid expected to receive for the hitman. The striker ended up joining Rafael Benitez's revolution at Napoli and watched from the sidelines as the Partenopei came unstuck at the Emirates Stadium by a 2-0 scoreline in the Champions League in early October.
The reverse fixture is to be held in Naples on December 11 and there is much to play for in Group F. While Marseille are yet to register a point, it is a foregone conclusion that Borussia Dortmund will obtain a result against them, therefore leaving Napoli with the task of having to beat the Gunners 3-0 on the final match-day should they want to guarantee progression into the knockout stage of the competition.
Higuain had embarked on a barren run of five games without a goal but will be in confident mood ahead of the Arsenal duel now he has rediscovered his shooting touch.
'I am delighted to have helped the team win' he is quoted to have said by Gazetta dello Sport. 'It was a very important result. It had been a while since I scored but it hasn't been a big weight on me because I've had the trust of everyone and I've always been calm.'
In 948 minutes of Serie A football, Higuain has returned seven goals and three assists, converting to an efficiency rate of a goal/assist every 94 minutes. In the Champions League he is even more efficient, scoring three and returning two assists from 314 minutes of football, meaning he is responsible for a goal every 62 mins.
image: © Jan S0L0