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?

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?