Juventus trying to sign a top striker isn't anything new to all of us. It's certainly getting old at this point in time. But the same can be said about Gonzalo Higuain being linked to Juventus. Well, it might not be as old and drawn out as the search for the highly coveted striker that makes us all do a happy dance, but it's been there.
And now we have this, courtesy of ESPN, to add to the mix of what will likely be a rumor-filled next few days.
Any kind of quick search on the Google machine will reveal that media outlets have already jumped all over the story. It seems like the whole top third of the Premier League have already been linked to the 25-year-old Higuain just for the sake of it. Go ahead. Try it out. You won't see anything else other than "(Insert EPL team here) ready to strike for Real Madrid's Higuain." It's there, out in the open for everybody to see and (maybe) believe.
But should Juventus be included in said Google search? Well, yeah. With the good comes the bad. Not every player is Leo Messi. And since Juve aren't going to be signing Messi any time soon, it's time to look elsewhere. That means asking one simple question: Gonzalo Higuain, your thoughts?
1. Goals. First, this from the Twitter machine:
Higauin has 104 goals in 185 games for Real Madrid, despite arriving at age 20 and playing 2nd fiddle most of the time. DO IT BEPPE.— Aaron Giambattista (@agiamba) May 2, 2013
So, there's that. Higuain's goal-to-game ration is pretty. He's not scoring goals this season as he did when he first became a starter at Madrid, but he's still productive and, in theory, still getting better seeing as he's in his mid-20s.
2. Age. Mainly, he won't be 26 until the middle of December this year. So if Juventus don't bring back a youngster — say, Manolo Gabbiadini — during the summer, Higuain would be the youngest striker in the squad. Mirko Vucinic will be 30 at the beginning of October. Fabio Quagliarella turned 30 this past January. Alessandro Matri will be 29 the time next season kicks off. Basically what I'm trying to say is that Juve's current strikers aren't as young as it may seem at first thought.
3. Champions League experience. Even though he's just entering the supposed prime of his career, Higuain is no stranger to European's top club competition. That seemed to be one of the things that people hung their hat on when things went bad for Juve. But it didn't help that they also ran into the Bayern Munich machine.
4. The ability to say "SUCK IT, EPL." to all the other big-money clubs that have been linked the the Argentine striker over the last year or two...or couple of days.
1. How much of Higuain's goal-scoring total has to do with his talent? And how much does it have to do with La Liga? To be completely honest, I have no idea. La Liga is top heavy, there's no doubt about it. And many defenses are nowhere near what we would considered even marginally average.
2. Cost — transfer fee and salary. This, as is the case with a lot of potential moves, will be one of — if not the — biggest determining factor of them all. I'm sure Beppe Marotta would love to sign a world-class striker, but the cost is massive to acquire one, thus keeping away any kind of potential transfers from happening. Higuain won't come cheap, seeing as Madrid will likely see him as a chip to use to bring in money to revamp the squad for next season.
3. Is he that much of an upgrade? Well, over what is currently on the roster, yes. It's hard to say that he isn't. But is the gap between Juventus' current group of goal scorers and Higuain so outrageously clear that it will be worth the high price to bring him to Turin? I'm still scratching my head over it.
4. Would Simone Padoin be willing to give up his No. 20 jersey number if Higuain came to Juve? I dunno. More to come as this story develops.
1. Fernando Llorente. We know of one striker who is Juventus-bound come this summer. The others? All a bunch of craptastic paper talk at this point. But whomever the hell arrives a few months from now, there will be the obvious questions of how they'll work with Llorente. And it's understandable, seeing as the Spanish international will probably play a big role in both Juve's summer transfer plans and the team's success next season.