Juventus Football Club confirmed it has purchased the registration rights of Gonzalo Higuain for €90 million, payable in two financial years. The player has agreed a five-year contract with the club.
In moving for Higuain, the Italian champions have secured the services of one of the most prolific and complete forwards in the world game, boasting a staggering 191 league strikes to his name in 329 appearances across spells with the Partenopei, Real Madrid and River Plate.
Making his professional debut in May 2005 at the age of 17, a flurry of 13 goals during the first half of the Argentinian’s second season ensured the French-born forward would not remain in Buenos Aires for long, with Madrid coming calling in December 2006.
Despite finding first-team action hard to come by on arrival in Spain, it wasn’t long before the Merengues’ number 20 was a firm fixture in the starting XI and inevitably the scoresheet.
Taking the opportunity presented by the long-term absence of Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Higuain would end his second full season in the capital as the club’s top marksman with 22 goals, four of which coming in one match against Malaga in November 2008.
“Pipita” would improve on his personal tally the following year, netting 27 times – one more than new team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and a total bettered only by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in Spain’s top tier.
After an injury-troubled 2010-11 season, Higuain would form a key part of one of the most prolific La Liga sides ever during his penultimate campaign, contributing 22 to a total of 121 goals as Real romped to a 32nd league title.
After six-and-a-half seasons at the Bernabeu, the striker headed across the Mediterranean in the summer of 2013 to join Napoli. There he would ultimately etch his name in the Serie A history books for becoming the highest scorer in a single Italian top-flight season with a magnificent 36 goals in 35 games – breaking Gunnar Nordahl’s 66-year-old record in the process.
Having reached the 15-goal mark in all but one of his previous seven seasons, the past 12 months have seen the 28-year-old stand in a class of his own in and around the opposition penalty area, scoring goals of every variety with breathtaking regularity.
Spearheading the southern club’s title tilt and eventual automatic qualification place for the Champions League as Serie A runners-up, the South American would go on to register more shots on target (83), more braces (9) and appear on the scoresheet in more games (25) than any of his contemporaries in a campaign that served to demonstrate that his is a unique talent and one capable of taking any side in Europe to the next level.
With Higuain now following fellow Argentinians Carlos Tevez and Paulo Dybala in donning the black and white of Juventus, few would write off his chances of lifting his first Serie A title while helping the Old Lady to win a record sixth Scudetto on the spin.