In all the excitement amongst fans over the tenuous, unlikely links to Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain in recent weeks, one question not many have sought to answer is why. Why would Liverpool be looking to spend pretty much their entire summer budget on a striker who would cost upwards of £60M?
There’s the goals, sure. And for some, that he scored 38 in 42 in all competitions last year—with a ridiculous 36 in 35 coming in Serie A play—is all that needs be said. Goals win games and Higuain gets goals so go and get Gonzalo Higuain, no matter the cost. Even leaving out what the striker might want, though, there are priorities.
Striker isn’t a priority. At striker, Jürgen Klopp finally managed to find a way to nurse Daniel Sturridge, at worst the second best striker in England when fit, back to health and keep him there through the spring. Divock Origi rounded into form and ended the year with the same goal per minute return as Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy.
Those are the top two strikers going into a season when Liverpool won’t have European football and will for the most part be playing a one-striker system. After them, there’s Danny Ings, who looked massively promising at the start of last season before he was felled by injury. After him there’s Roberto Firmino to do the job in a pinch.
For any club without Europe and set on a one-striker system, that’s already an embarrassment of riches. And it doesn’t even take into account £32.5M misfit Christian Benteke. With or without him, though, there simply isn’t room for a player like Higuain—not unless Sturridge is being sold or Origi’s development is being abandoned.
Now, The Times’ Oliver Kay has confirmed that that’s exactly how Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp sees the situation, too. That the Liverpool manager doesn’t plan on offloading his top strikers and doesn’t see a pressing need to add somebody new to the mix—and certainly not someone who would eat up the entire transfer budget.
There is no interest in Higuain. Saying so isn’t a bluff by Liverpool—though hints that Higuain might be interested could well be a bluff by a player looking to up his wage packet. And even if Benteke were sold, which he might be if the right offer came in, Liverpool wouldn’t make striker a priority in the transfer market.
Klopp is happy with the 4 strikers he has. Rethink needed if get big offer for Benteke. But even then, a new striker won't be a top priority— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) June 8, 2016