The 26-year-old Argentine was tracked by Arsene Wenger for much of the summer as the Frenchman admitted in September that his target had gotten away from him, adding:
“We were working on two or three targets and he was one of them,” Wenger told Arsenal.com. ”It didn't come off in the end, that doesn't take anything away from his quality.
“Napoli took advantage of that at the right moment, it's more about timing as well.
“In the end Real Madrid sold two great players, one of them went to Napoli, one [Mesut Ozil] went to Arsenal so it's 1-1 on that front.”
Gonzalo Higuain has since spoken of his delight in moving to Naples, citing their insistence and boss Rafa Benitez as reasons for making the ‘easy decision’.
His side Napoli are currently third in Serie A, three points behind Roma and a mammoth 11 points behind Juventus who have played a game less. Whilst first place looks beyond them, the team from Naples should look at securing a top three spot and a secure Champions League place for next season.
Saturday’s game at home to lowly Chievo looked for all the world as a home banker. Napoli had previously won seven out of ten, scoring 23 goals in-front of their home fans at the impressive Stadio San Paulo, whereas Chievo had only found six goals on their travels, winning just two.
Yet, it was the visitors who took a shock lead with 34-year-old Gennaro Sardo netting in the 18th minute. However, it wasn’t long until Napoli carved open the Chievo defence as former Real Madrid forward Jose Callejon put the ball across the 6-yard area, only for Higuain to inexplicably fail to tap in an empty net from just 2-yards out.
The horror miss eventually came back to haunt Napoli as they didn’t manage to find an equaliser until the 88th minute. As a result of the game ending 1-1, it will surely be looked upon as two points dropped.
As for Gonzalo Higuain, the Argentine will hope that his woeful miss doesn’t prove costly at the end of the season in order to prevent a repeat of the Champions League tears shown against Arsenal.
Watch the video of Higuain's miss here:
image: © luigig