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Gonzalo Higuain: A top-class striker?

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Yiannis Bouranis writes about Gonzalo Higuain, who is not only the best striker in the Serie A right now, but also one of the best in Europe.

When Napoli decided to spend 40 million Euros to sign Higuain, the “Partenopei” considered this acquisition their best chance to claim their first title since 1990.

At the same time, the Argentinian believed the Italian club was his ideal opportunity to become the team’s leader. However, both the player and the squad didn’t manage to achieve their initial target in the past couple of seasons.

More specifically, although Higuain left the Bernabeu having scored 107 goals in 190 league appearances with Real Madrid, he scored just 17 league goals in his first season as a member of Napoli (24 in all competitions) and 18 in his second one (29 in total).

The main problem, though, was the fact that he couldn’t be considered the player that would lead the team to the end of the road.

This year, when Maurizio Sarri was appointed as the new manager, it was likely Higuain would leave the team in order to improve his chances to win a major title again.

However, he decided to stay and Sarri’s tactical modification (from 4-3-1-2 to 4-3-3) helped the 28-old-year striker simply explode.

“Pipita” has scored 22 goals in 22 league appearances and leads his squad to the coveted title, as Napoli is currently first in the standings, two points ahead of Juventus (50 to 48).

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Moreover, the Italian manager’s move to put Higuain up top as the lone-striker (alongside Insigne and José Callejón, who play on either side of him) has let the Argentinian striker score at an unprecedented rate.

Consequently, Higuain has become a top, in-form striker, with his great goal-scoring consistency having made him the top goal scorer out of all Europe’s top leagues.

With that being said, and with 16 league games remaining until the end of the season, he has a great chance to become only the second player in the last 35 years, that will score more than 30 goals in the championship (Luca Toni scored 31 as a Fiorentina player in 2005-6).

In addition, if Napoli goes all the way to the end in the Europa League, where “Pipita” has scored twice so far, he will have the opportunity to break every goal-scoring record this year, being on course for the most productive season of his career.

Based on his reliability and efficiency in front of goal, he has established himself as a world-class striker, having turned into a player that every top club wants on their roster.

With that being said, there have already been the first reports that Bayern Munich will try to sign him during the summer transfer period.

More specifically, club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told reporters: “Higuaín is a fantastic player. We at Bayern like him.” In addition, the Bavarians’ new manager, Carlo Ancelotti, who will take over the team in June, is in favour of such a move, mentioning that “who would I take to my next club? Among the foreigners in Serie A, I’d choose Higuaín.”

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All in all, the 28-year-old striker is proving his ability to make the difference for the Italian club and wants to continue that way until the end of the season, starting from the Italian club’s match against Lazio on February 3rd.

Because, if Higuain remains consistent offensively, he will be able not only to break any record this season, but also (to) help Napoli make history, by winning the title for the first time after 26 years.

 

*Images from: www.foxsports.com, www.goal.com, www.taringa.net

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