Gonzalo Higuain: What can Arsenal fans expect from the Real Madrid striker on the verge of a move to the Emirates?

The Argentina international is close to becoming the Gunners' record signing. Here, Jack Pitt-Brooke reveals the attributes he will bring with him to north London

Arsenal might be close to filling their great gaping vacancy, with the likely signing of Gonzalo Higuain.

Although last season was far from disastrous, it was immediately clear that they lacked a goal-scorer good enough to replace Robin van Persie. Olivier Giroud is an admirable trier, a reliable 7/10 man but, when it matters, more of a Europa League striker than a Champions League one.

Higuain, though, is unambiguously from the top bracket. Real Madrid is not an easy place to find your voice as a footballer, given the politics, the drama and the competition for places, but Higuain managed to do exactly that.

Real Madrid sign lots of players, and lots of young talented ones too and so Higuain's great achievement is to fight his way into the team, season after season, in a way that so many others failed to do.

Bought from River Plate in December 2006, having just turned 19, Higuain made his debut in January 2007. In those six and a half seasons since, he has been remarkably consistent, with 107 La Liga goals. Only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (in, it must be said, less time) have scored more than him.

As a player, Higuain's strength is obvious. He does not quite have van Persie's preternatural game intelligence, or that firework burst of Luis Suarez or Carlos Tevez, but in front of goal he is deadly, with brilliant movement, anticipation and an ability to find the net from any angle or range with either foot.

Higuain just scores goals. He scored goals under Fabio Capello, Bernd Schuster, Juande Ramos, Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho. He would often start seasons as second choice but score enough to fight his way back into the side. Many strikers, initially preferred by the coach, the fans or the owner, were sidelined having been beaten to the shirt by 'el Pipita'. In a sense, Higuain saw off Ruud van Nistelrooy, Raul, Javier Saviola and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Even in the last four seasons, when Higuain had to share striking duties with Florentino Perez's favoured €35m man Karim Benzema, he continued to impress. He scored more league goals than Benzema in three of the last four years, with 75 to Benzema's 55 since 2009-10. It is testament to Higuain's resilience and persistence that he has continued to fight at Madrid for this long.

Like many at Madrid, he might be disappointed to have been there while the greatest team in football history was playing at Camp Nou. His return of three league titles and one Copa Del Rey is nothing to scorn but, in another time, it might have been better.

But now Higuain has decided to end his time at Madrid and seems to have chosen Arsenal for his next destination. He would provide goals, nerve, resilience and conviction in a team which has lacked all four for too long. Arsenal have the basics in place, but have been desperate for a fearsome spearhead. Higuain could be that man.

See for yourself with this collection of Higuain's greatest goals...

Related articles...

Arsenal ready to make Higuain highest paid player at the club

Who might Arsenal sign during the transfer window?

Santi Cazorla talks up Arsenal's chances of winning the title

Were Arsenal's previous record signings hits or misses?

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam