Sunday June 10 2018
Higuain tough act to follow

Juventus must be careful when considering a change, as there are very few strikers who can replace Gonzalo Higuain, warns Vilizar Yakimov.

Gonzalo Higuain has always been a contradictory figure. The Argentinian’s bizarre ability to produce world class displays in one game and unbelievable misses in the next has been dividing opinions ever since he moved to Europe in 2007.

The €90m that Juventus paid to lure him away from Napoli two years ago only increased the controversy and media interest surrounding Higuain. If you walk around Turin and ask the locals if Higuain has lived up to that price tag, one thing is certain - you’ll get plenty of contrasting answers.

There are increasing rumours that Juventus are preparing to sell Higuain this summer and, considering he is already on the wrong side of 30, such a move would make sense for the Bianconeri. Il Pipita still commands a hefty price tag, as his transfer value is close to €60m. This is an incredible fee for a player of his age and would boost Juve’s chances of bringing in either Sergej Milinkovic-Savic or even Paul Pogba.

And while those names excite the fans, and selling a 30-year-old player who hasn’t always been convincing enough for such an amount would look like a great piece of business, this would also bring one question - who can replace Higuain?

Throughout the last decade there has been just one certainty surrounding Higuain’s hot and cold nature and that is goals. Plenty of goals. Pipita has just finished one of his less productive seasons in terms of goals and yet finished the campaign with 25 strikes across all competitions. If we take a look at his stats since joining Juventus, we’ll see that the ex-Real Madrid man has amassed the incredible 105 games for the Old Lady, scoring 55 goals and providing 12 assists.

Putting the impressive enough goals and assists aside, Higuain’s endurance during this period has been nothing short of unbelievable, as playing more than 50 games per season shows just how important he has been for this Juventus team. Massimiliano Allegri has been shuffling Juve’s formations, players and positions, but the Number 9 has always been on the team sheet when fit. It is true that there were games in which Higuain looked slow and tired, but isn’t that normal considering the amount he has been playing?

If he leaves, how many pure strikers would be able to match his numbers and feature in so many games? Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, Mauro Icardi, Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez, maybe Sergio Aguero... Really not that many. And how many of them could Juventus realistically get this summer?

Alvaro Morata and Icardi are the names that circulate most often in the media these days, and while the Spaniard has already played for the Bianconeri under Allegri and would be welcomed back by the tifosi, he really does not provide the guarantees that Higuain does and prising him away from Chelsea would be extremely difficult.

When it comes to Icardi, he is probably the only player who is significantly younger than Higuain, but is already beating these goalscoring stats. However, it is extremely unlikely that Inter would allow their captain to join their arch rivals, especially after the Nerazzurri secured their place in next season’s Champions League.

Considering all this, Juventus need to be extremely careful thinking about selling their No 9 this summer. It is true that this is probably the Old Lady’s last chance of getting a significant transfer fee for Higuain, but considering the team’s ambitions, they cannot afford to sell the Argentinian without finding a suitable replacement.

Bringing in a top quality midfielder is a must, but if Juve want to launch another serious assault on the Champions League, they need an extraordinary striker.

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Have your say...
For me I'd keep Higua and Mandzu because their technically point strikers and need to be kept up high the pitch... What we really need is attacking Mids and fast wingers to feed them the ball SO HIGUAIN AND MANDZUKIC can finish the plays.In with Cancelo and Darmian.
on the 13th June, 2018 at 5:54pm
Clubs can ask what they want for players.
Of course it doesn't mean that they will get it!

In short, nothing to get too excited about.
on the 13th June, 2018 at 11:08am

ROFLMAO @ Higuain = Morata + 60m. How stupid of a rumor can this be? Not even in FM / PES would this transaction be so idiotic, let alone in real life.
on the 12th June, 2018 at 6:29pm
Apparently, according to reports, Chelsea inquired about Higuain's price and Juventus asked Morata + 60 mil.
on the 12th June, 2018 at 12:04pm
Yes, it must be pointed out that if Mandzukic recaptures his form with Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich, he ranks below Lewandowsi for sure, but could be better than Dzeko, if given the service and goal opportunities he got with the 2 German Clubs.
on the 12th June, 2018 at 10:15am
Two things tho.

First, is this suggestion by someone that Higuain is "an honest player". Higuain keeps himself in no condition but he can break a Serie A scoring record. He can play poorly and score 20 goals. He's very technical, great with both feet, great 1v1, is fast while fat, dribbles players with one foot and belly, damn good passer, checks back to hold up play as well as anyone. Don't say ignorant things.

And this obsession with Morata. Did nothing at Juve, and is "an honest player".
on the 12th June, 2018 at 5:07am
This article makes no sense. Higuain is a world-class player, tho he has lacked the professionalism to keep himself in the ideal shape. He was always very thin, now he's not consistently slim, and he's not particularly strong either. And that's joining this big side.

Anyway, he's world-class no matter the criticism. But what has he added to Juventus? Are Juventus better FOR his addition? I don't think so.

There's not enough interplay with Dybala, and they're boring up top.
on the 12th June, 2018 at 5:03am
don't know the big hoopla is about we are getting back Pjaca next season and hopefully getting Darmian and Cancelo,Plus Emre Can is ours so we offload Sturaro and that's that.Higuain should definitely stay because even at 31 he's deadly.
on the 12th June, 2018 at 2:16am
Higuain is not good enough not clinical enough when it matters, time for a change. In a big game I rather have Mandzukic. We need someone like Cavani or Levandowsky, a big target that is great in the air and the ground. I even take Icardi over Higuain, better finisher. So if that deal happens would be great.
on the 11th June, 2018 at 9:09pm
They who said Higuain is slow, not a big games performer, you're completely have no idea how good Higuain is. He won the coppa by himself when with Napoli. Losing twice to Madrid wasn't all his fault as Juventus midfielders were all under performed. He's a striker no.9, his job is to score goals but can't do it without good ball supplies from midfielders.

This hype about Higuain's departure is a pure media invention as they know that all loser fans are really desperate to see a weakened Juve.
on the 11th June, 2018 at 9:01pm
HIGUAIN is an important player.
A Top Striker of proven record.

Whatever will be decided about him, Juventus will be a stronger team than lat season.

Great footballers come and go............
on the 11th June, 2018 at 6:17pm
@ kenzille

Well for one, Higuain never played against Bayern with Juve.

As for Barca and Real, the whole team was absent. Hard and unfair to blame the lone striker when the whole team under performs.

As for missing a penalty, everyone does. Come on now.

It's funny though that his missed chances are the ones remembered, while the misses by Messi and Palacio in the same match are always forgotten. It's popular now to blame Higuain.

People speak about his mentality, I can't imagine a more difficult game for him than the ones at San Paolo, and he delivered under immense pressure.

Look, I'm not saying he's a perfect striker, far from it. Not even the most clinical. But he is a great striker and Juve shouldn't let him go unless they secure a better replacement.
on the 11th June, 2018 at 5:22pm
One word to describe Higuain - SLOW! He is far too slow and the best teams Real etc can mark him too easily. There are at least 20 better Strikers in Europe than him!
on the 11th June, 2018 at 2:58pm
Higuain is what us old timers would call an 'honest' player; works hard but lacks real class and invention. He has scored a lot of important goals but he's clearly not a big time player. Anyone who's the main striker and can't hit the net in either a WC or CL final has to be questioned. These are momentous occasions which require momentous players; he just isn't one.
on the 11th June, 2018 at 9:32am
@ Ravanelli I would say to you what has performance been against the likes of Barcelona, real maddrid and Bayern munich. he has gone missing in these games. that is a big problem for juve. you highlighted Tottenham 2nd leg but you failed to mention the fact that he missed a pk in the 1st leg and a host of other chances that put juve in a terrible spot going into the 2nd leg.I was routing for higuain but is clear that he doesn't have the big game mentality. it is not something you can teach.
on the 11th June, 2018 at 8:52am
Higuain has been great for Juve.

Yeah he has his bad days and strange misses, but he also scores from near impossible situations.
The myth that he under-performs in big games is just that, a myth.
Look at his performance vs a quick Tottenham side when Juve was down n out. 1 goal and 1 assist and Juve are through to the next stage.

What about his constant bombing of Napoli, Juve's main rival in Italy?
He single-handedly knocked them out of the coppa, and scored the winner in the league match. Among other great goals vs ADL.

However, at his age, and for 60m, it would be smart to sell. But only once we secure someone like Lewandowski (doubt it), or maybe Cavani or Morata.

Oh, this alone was worth a few mills for me, though I didn't pay them but some precious moments here:
on the 11th June, 2018 at 6:10am
I agree with most on here, and personally, too, feel that Higuain's chances are over, he should be sold. He's great at scoring against low-to-mid-table teams across Europe, but he doesn't have the mettle to deliver against top opposition.

If someone does pay 50m for him, that money should be reused to buy Morata, and even if it's a gamble, bring Moise Kean and give him 20 games. So that he's groomed for when Mario leaves next season.

on the 10th June, 2018 at 6:37pm
He is n has been good but I'd cash in n bring in Morata n a top mid like M-Savic! Tho Higuian also scored some important CL goals, Morata is better in the big CL games n bring back Keane or another young player wi potential. Juve were always good at replacing big names wi newcomers going back to Del Piero replacing Baggio n Vieri 4 Vialli. Young n hungry may be just what Juve need in order 2 win the CL! Theyve still got Mandzukic n Dybala 2 for extra firepower!
on the 10th June, 2018 at 5:18pm
Edin Dzeko is the most complete CF, rarely losing possesion, strong - air or ground, agile for his height and many other skills. His price is funny. Underrated
on the 10th June, 2018 at 4:50pm
the main question is what is the main goal of the it just to win the 8th scudetto in a row or is it to really win the c.league this season. if I is the c.league then higuain cant be your stirker. Morata is the perfect fit because if one realizes the team that has fast strikers thatcan play on the counter are the ones that do well. not only that Morata is good in the air as well.some striers are just big game strikers. it is not something u can teach. either u have it or not.morata does
on the 10th June, 2018 at 4:45pm
They paid 90 million for him with a view to win the CL within a couple of seasons - he goes missing in big games - he's almost 31, sensible to cash out now while the can recoup some money. If it was ever going to happen with Higuain to the extent Juve expected - it would have already. Yes he scores and few are better, but Juve arent in biz to keep a player until retirement unless its a club legend. Using his funds to sign M. Savic and sign Morata as a replacement would help their CL quest more.
on the 10th June, 2018 at 2:58pm
Tough act to follow? Dzeko has hit much higher numbers in every department in the last two seasons! Dzeko is the toughest act to follow. Also Higuain cost almost 100 milion €, Dzeko only for 15 m €. You do the math, whos the real deal!
on the 10th June, 2018 at 1:20pm
One of the best blogs written in a long time. Only thing missing is mentioning how Higuains goals have been decisive in the Scudetto run. Let’s not forget how Diego Costas absence from Chelsea affected their Premier League campaign. Realistically speaking it’s hard to replace him and if Juve sell him he will be replaced by gambling decision making. Either replace him with one with a world class striker or don’t sell. Is simple.
on the 10th June, 2018 at 12:43pm
Tough act to follow? Really? 75mil who can't score in big games and only really scored when Juve had already won a game. Sell him cash in buy a proper striker. Belotti would be a good shout for you Juve and Italy.
on the 10th June, 2018 at 11:48am
Should sell him now. Otherwise he will miss another sitter in the world cup and value will decrease
on the 10th June, 2018 at 11:48am

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