Rumour has it that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has 70 million pounds to spend on new players this summer. Rumour also has it that he’s about to sign French-born Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain for some ridiculous fee and could possibly still have some money left over to make an offer to Manchester United for Wayne Rooney. However, if there’s only enough money for one of these strikers, which one would suit Arsenal the best?
Players of this caliber don’t come along every day of the week so it’s understandable why Arsenal and other clubs are interested in them. It’s just the way pro sports go even though it means somebody will have to give up their playing time to make way for one or both of them. Wenger, like all other managers, just keep on buying players until they get it right. In a way, it shows the squads they’ve built aren’t good enough at the moment and they’ve made mistakes with players in the past.
Of course, Arsenal brought in forwards Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski last year, and moving for reinforcements means these players haven’t lived up to club expectations. This is the unsavory side of football as it’s similar to dating your girlfriend until somebody better comes along and then giving her the boot when they do. When it comes to Higuain and Rooney fans will be able to offer a better opinion on the Man United star since they often see him play week in and week out and have done for years.
Yes, supporters may also watch Higuain whenever they get the chance, but in all reality they probably aren’t as familiar with the 25 year old. What we do know is that he can put the ball in the net on a regular basis. The six-foot-tall Higuain started his career in Argentina with Rover Plate back in 2004 and stayed with the club until 2006 and scored 15 goals in 41 games with them and set up 16 more. He then moved to Spain and joined Real Madrid in the 2006/07 and eventually caught fire by scoring 122 goals in 266 contests.
He also played one match for the Argentine Under-23 team and scored a pair and has 20 goals in 32 matches with the senior side. Higuain scored just 19 goals in 44 games this season though, which is just two more than Olivier Giroud. Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho seemed to lose a bit of confidence in him and he wasn’t always a starter as Mourinho often preferred to go with Karim Benzema. Perhaps this is why the striker feels he wants to leave Madrid even though he’s still under contract until at least 2016.
But with Mourinho heading back to Chelsea, perhaps Higuain will honour his contract. Word has it that he’s agreed to a four-year deal with the Gunners though and will be paid anywhere from 130,000 to 150,000 pounds a week. The wages, like all footballers’ are far too high, but compared to Rooney’s they’re about 100,000 pounds a week cheaper. If Higuain is indeed signed, it’ll be as a centre forward which means he’s going to have to battle it out with Giroud for playing time.
But is he actually better than Arsenal’s French international striker? Higuain isn’t the greatest in the air and he’s often caught offside, which is something he’s going to have to work on. A good centre forward needs to win the areal duels to be successful in the Premier League. There’s no doubt that Higuain is a good player, but would he be a better choice than Rooney?
As for Rooney, he’s now 27 years old and can also still put the ball in the net, though maybe not with the same regularity as he could a few years ago. It seems that Rooney wants to leave Old Trafford now that Alex Ferguson’s gone and he’s been replaced by David Moyes, who isn’t exactly Rooney’s favourite person. Moyes is the manager who often used to leave Rooney on the bench and play him as a substitute when he was starting to carve out a career for himself at Everton.
He moved to United in 2004 and became a fan favourite right away by slamming in a hat-trick in the Champions League against Fenerbahçe. In total, he’s scored 197 goals in 400 matches with Manchester, but managed just 16 in 36 games this season while adding four in five games with England. Rooney’s now considered the second fiddle to former Gunner Robin van Persie and is still young enough to revive his career somewhere else.
Rooney isn’t actually an out and out striker or centre forward. He can be very effective in several different positions and doesn’t mind coming back to help out in his own end. He’s definitely not lazy and possesses a lot more speed than most fans realize. Being able to play in various positions would be a bonus for Wenger. It would allow the manager to use Rooney as he sees fit depending on the circumstances of each game. He’d also provide the squad with some much-needed British physicality on the pitch. He’s more of a power forward than a finesse player and his leadership abilities would be welcomed at the Emirates.
Rooney can score goals with the best of them and also brings a lot more intangibles to a side, including strength and experience. While Higuain’s a fine football player, Rooney just has a lot more to offer and is more of a complete footballer than the Argentine. If Wenger had the opportunity to land just one of these players, I’d go with Rooney. How about you?