Gonzalo Higuain showed why Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentilsspent £34m on him this summer after scoring his first goal in a blue shirt on Friday as the Azzurri beat Benfica 2-1 in front of a home crowd.
The striker, brought in to replace departed EdinsonCavani, showed the poacher’s instinct that yielded over 50 goals in his time at Real Madrid, tapping home Pablo Armero’s assist on 70 minutes to clinch a confidence-boosting win over the Portuguese outfit.
The goal, as simple as it was, is a sign of things to come in Naples and Higuain already appears to have found his feet within the club and amongst the punters on Betfair. After the match he spoke to reporters about netting his maiden goal and, if his quotes are anything to go by, he should be inspired to bag plenty more this coming season.
“Hearing the noise of the crowd at my goal and them chanting my name was an amazing experience, it gave me goosebumps,” he told football-espana.net. “I thank the Neapolitans for this splendid evening and for all the warmth they are giving me.”
Indeed, the Napoli crowd were out in good numbers to support their new centre forward. Many felt the loss of Cavani would seriously hamper their title challenge this season but Higuain is more than capable of handling the pressures being a marquee signing brings.
Napoli get their Serie A season underway late this August with a home tie against Bologna before a trip to Chievo before the month is out. The games come thick and fast in Serie A and Higuain, used to coming in and out the team at the Bernabeu, must be ready to play a central role in this Napoli squad. The striker is capable of fulfilling the trust Rafael Benitez has shown in him but now it’s time to prove it in competitive action.