Having once been a star at clubs like Real Madrid and SSC Napoli, as well as Juventus, Gonzalo Higuain was rated as a top class striker for many years. The Argentina international was a consistent double-figures goalscorer in Europe from his arrival with Madrid until his time in Italy with both Napoli and Juventus. Though he soured his reputation in Naples with a move to Juventus which soon turned into a mini-disaster, Higuain was still well-rated by many clubs across Europe.
A loan spell with Milan and then with Chelsea, though, was the beginning of the end for a player who was seen extremely highly rated. A return to South America was mooted, but instead Higuain chose to go to Inter Miami, the new MLS club managed by Phil Neville and owned by David Beckham. However, it would be nigh-impossible to argue that Higuain has not been a flop.
MLS was once derided as a ‘retirement league’, with many players moving there to see out their careers in glamorous surroundings and at a lower level. Today, though, most MLS clubs look to pick up aspiring stars from North and South America and give them a chance to thrive in a competitive environment. Higuain, though, is more of an example of the old-days thinking of signing European-based stars who could be good for marketing and for profile.
With a meagre 11 goals in 35 games, though, Higuain has been more of a problem for Miami than he ever has been a solution. He is regarded as a poor fit with the team, with a negative attitude often seen during games and a rather common insubordinate streak.
This has led to issues with players and coaching staff, and it has played a role in ensuring that his time in America has been a flop as opposed to a thrill.
Inter Miami keen to find high profile replacement
The reports suggest that the Argentine will throw in the towel at the end of the MLS season and retire. Though it would be a surprise to see the player retire without returning to the domestic game in Argentina as he always suggested, his level has simply fallen down.
While other veterans in the league, such as Chicharito Hernandez, were able to turn it around, for the best part of two MLS seasons now Higuain has been a headache as opposed to a help. This could see the fiery striker, who arguably never recovered from his offside goal in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final, choose to retire and to move on with other plans in his life.
Whatever happens, for the best part of a decade Higuain was a well-regarded striker in Europe who also was beloved for his national team for his hard work and determination. Now, though, it looks like it could all be over for a player who was once regarded as one of the best natural finishers in world football.