Few rumours have withstood the test of time quite like Gonzalo Higuain to Arsenal.
It seems as though for as long as both entities continue to exist, gossip-column patrons can expect to see various journalistic mediums attempting to marry the pair off via one means or another whenever they visit their favoured speculation station.
The latest take on the subject tells of how the Gunners – 6/1 to win the Premier League – plan to bolt Olivier Giroud into the bargain as a means of lowering Napoli’s sky-high demands for the Argentine goal machine.
It’s a hugely implausible (and undoubtedly fictitious) strategy for luring Serie A’s top scorer out of Italy. Activating his £65.8m release clause remains the only viable means of doing so.
Higuain turns 29 before the year is out, but savoured the most prolific campaign of his career last time around, notching an outrageous 36 league goals in 35 outings.
It was more than double the tally managed by compatriot Mauro Icardi, who fired 16 in 32 starts for Inter.
Premier League interest in Icardi is alleged to have increased in recent days, with the Nerazzurri putting him up for sale to generate transfer funds, or so says the striker’s wife.
The veracity of these claims have since been called into question by Inter’s sporting director, who insisted the following day that the 23-year-old wouldn’t be sold, regardless of rumours.
Still, it didn’t stop links to Arsenal and their north London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur arising, with a £42m fee mooted in this instance.
But with both players set to cost unreasonable amounts of money, which represents the better value?
Higuain registered approximately once every 83 minutes last time around, while Icardi’s strike rate was roughly one every 163 minutes by contrast.
However, the Napoli marksman took around five Serie A shots before rustling the net, Icardi averaged four.
it’s important to note the latter’s tally was posted while playing for a team that finished fourth last season too, whereas his countryman’s haul was laid on by the second-best support cast in Italy, who collected 15 points more.
In Marek Hamsik, Napoli stocked the joint-second-highest assister (11) and most prolific key pass provider (2.5-per-match) in the top flight.
Adem Ljajic boasted the best key-pass-per-match mean on the Inter roster with 2.2 but, unfortunately for Icardi’s goalscoring prospects, he was only able to make 16 starts.
The younger model has found the net consistently across the previous four seasons (failing to hit double digits in the league just once in this timeframe, scoring nine in 2013/14 despite being selected to start on just 12 occasions) and stands to be even more lethal in a team capable of laying on better service.