“Should Juventus sell Gonzalo Higuain?” It was a question asked countless times on social media following Juventus’ stunning acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo, the signing of the Real Madrid star prompting much more discussion on the topic than there would have been just hours earlier.
Of course, thanks to his reputation as a “fat lazy choker” among many so-called fans, there was already a large audience who believed the Argentinian was not good enough to wear the famous black and white stripes. That train of thought was fuelled by the striker’s woeful missed shots in the Copa America and World Cup finals, then given further credence by Higuain’s rather startling appearance at pre-season training.
Looking more than a few pounds overweight at the start of his first summer with the Bianconeri, he quickly set about rediscovering his waistline while simultaneously laying waste to the idea he was a lazy player who underperformed in big games. His full debut saw Higuain net a winning goal against old rivals Fiorentina, but that was merely the start of two-year long demonstration that he scored when it mattered most.
Roma, Lazio, AC Milan and Torino all felt it, as did former club Napoli who he has so far netted against five times in six games for Juve. Decisive Champions League goals in the last 16 this term against Tottenham followed a brace in last season’s semifinal versus AS Monaco, while the last-minute winner at San Siro against Inter will never be forgotten.
Yet to return to the original question – and despite all of his narrative destroying heroics over the last two years – it would seem his time in Turin is at an end. The financial outlay involved in bringing Ronaldo to Juve has been discussed ad nauseum, but the Old Lady simply cannot justify having Higuain remaining on the bench while he is the club’s second highest paid player.
Sadly then yes, it is time to let him go. But that has seemingly led to another far more simple question, with Milan emerging as a potential destination for the 30-year-old striker. To allow Higuain to join the Rossoneri would surely be a terrible mistake, the lack of a regular goal scorer arguably the biggest weakness in Gennaro Gattuso’s current side.
To facilitate the filling of that void with a player of his calibre would be a grave mistake, with his record against Napoli over the last two years standing as “Exhibit A” in the case against such a move. Higuain not only ruined his former club’s title hopes in Serie A and eliminated them from the Coppa Italia, he relished doing so, not outwardly celebrating in front of supporters who previously worshiped him, but certainly enjoying the chance to prove Aurelio De Laurentiis wrong.
While Juve’s own management team are unlikely to lambast Higuain in the manner that the Napoli owner did, he would still surely seize the opportunity to show them that letting him go was a error in judgement. Matches against Milan – particularly at San Siro – are tough enough, why aid their cause by letting a man who holds the all-time Serie A record for goals in a single season (36) make the short journey along Italy’s A4?
In light of recent events, selling Gonzalo Higuain might well be unavoidable, but selling him to Milan would be unforgivable.