In the same transfer window in which the Gunners went and signed Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid, Gonzalo Higuain just laughed at Arsenal for passing him up back in the summer of 2013.
Arsenal was in dire need of a new striker nine years ago, just like this summer. As a successor for Robin van Persie, Arsene Wenger had signed Olivier Giround a year earlier, but Gunners supporters weren’t very impressed with the French number nine.
Higuain was then playing for Real Madrid, but there have been numerous rumors linking Arsenal to a move for him. Even at the time, The Guardian stated that the Argentine international was about to sign a £23 million contract with the Emirates.
Then, a Napoli team, buoyed by the significant sale of Edinson Cavani to PSG, made Higuain an offer of £34 million (Goal). The agreement fell through when Arsenal made it plain that they would not match that price.
Gonzalo Higuain laughs at Arsenal for snubbing him
Higuain’s contract with Napoli was swiftly completed after Arsenal decided against signing him. At that point in the window, Arsenal fans were not happy at all, so on the day of the transfer deadline, Wenger had to make some sort of concession to the fans.
Mesut Ozil, Higuain’s three-year Real Madrid teammate, was signed by Arsenal for a club-record sum just before the transfer window closed. The Argentine seems to still be a little miffed by Wenger’s choice over nine years later.
“I remember that I was on the verge of moving to Arsenal when I moved to Napoli, but they said I was too expensive,” Higuain, who was referred to as a “great player” by Andrea Pirlo, told TyC Sports, as translated by Football Italia.
Higuain chuckled, “And a few days later, they paid €80 million (£68 million) for Ozil.
On the final day of the 2013 transfer window, Arsenal actually paid £42.4 million for the German playmaker. (BBC)
Where’s Higuain now?
Higuain rose to fame at Napoli after Arsenal passed him over. The Argentine played 146 games in all competitions in three seasons there, tallying 91 goals and 26 assists.
Then, he made a highly contentious transfer to join Juventus for £75,3 million (BBC). He played in 149 games with the Turin team, recording 66 goals and 16 assists.
He was loaned out twice, first to Chelsea and subsequently to AC Milan. Compared to what he had previously accomplished in Italy and Spain, both of his stints turned out to be incredibly underwhelming.
Finally, he relocated to the United States in September 2020 to join Inter Miami. He has so far made 51 appearances for the MLS team, scoring 15 goals and nine assists. It will be interesting to watch what he does when his contract there expires at the end of this year.