Following the expiration of his contract at Juventus, Gonzalo Higuain moved to David Beckham’s newly-created Major League Soccer franchise, Inter Miami. Over the course of his professional career, few strikers have been able to match the Argentine’s goal-scoring figures. Despite significant misses in front of goal during high-stakes matches, the 32-year-old’s peak years should be remembered for his prolific scoring record that saw him establish himself as one of the best in Europe. Given his ruthlessness, it’s debatable that Juventus were too eager to rid of the Argentine. So, let’s take a look at whether Andrea Pirlo’s team are suffering in the absence of Higuain.
His Ruthlessness Has Been the Difference
At the end of the 2019-20 season, Juventus lifted their ninth consecutive Serie A title and their 36th in the club’s history. During the record-setting campaign, Higuain played a central role in helping the Old Lady further cement their legacy as Italian football’s most dominant domestic side. According to Transfermarkt, across 32 appearances, the 32-year-old scored eight goals and assisted a further four. Although this isn’t the best return of his career, the timeliness of his contributions shouldn’t be ignored.
Given that Juventus only clinched the title by one point from Inter Milan, every goal made a difference in 2019-20. Although debatable, there’s a case that Higuain scored the Old Lady’s most important goal of the season. When Maurizio Sarri’s team travelled to the San Siro to face Inter on October 6th, 2019, the Argentine scored an 80th-minute winner as the 36-time league winners secured a vital 2-1 victory. Furthermore, the former Real Madrid striker also delivered match-winning assists in back-to-back games against Torino and AC Milan in the following month.
Was the Time Right for a Change?
Hindsight is a marvellous thing, particularly in football. Regarding Higuain, it may be a case that Juventus didn’t realise what they had until it left. After the opening eight matches of the 2020-21 Serie A campaign, the Old Lady has already fallen to four draws; only one fewer than they managed in the entirety of the previous season. While there are no guarantees that the Argentine would have made the difference, his record certainly indicates that he could have won the club a few extra points. In terms of the title race, Juventus are still the favourites, despite their below-par start. As of November 26th, Pirlo’s team are 15/8 with Serie A betting to win a tenth consecutive title at the end of the season.
Irrespective of whether Juventus have made a mistake, it’s clear that Higuain is relishing the opportunity to play in the MLS. According to a report at the league’s official website, the 32-year-old states that he had always been “curious” about the league having watched his brother, Federico Higuain, play for Columbus Crew SC. Now, the two siblings both line up at Inter Miami.
Nothing Left to Prove
For over a decade, Higuain has been one of the most feared strikers in Europe, and age didn’t hinder his ruthlessness. Ultimately, only time will tell as to whether the Old Lady made an error in allowing the Argentine’s contract to expire, but it’s clear that the 32-year-old is excited by his new footballing adventure.