27. Gonzalo Higuaín
Gonzalo Higuaín arrived at Juventus with a huge burden on his shoulders to prove his worth after a $90M move from Napoli in the summer. With only one season under his belt so far, it was proved to be a wise investment despite all the controversy surrounded it.
In his last season at the Partenopei, Higuaín broke a 66 year old record in Serie A, scoring 36 goals in a single campaign, a feat achieved over 35 games. The holder of that record used to be Gunnar Nordahl, which had scored only one goal less during the 1949-1950 season. This made the expectations upon his arrival even bigger as he had to follow one of the greatest individual seasons in the history of Serie A.
Despite not coming close to the outstanding number he had the previous season, Higuaín had a fantastic year and finished the campaign with 24 goals, only surpassed by Dries Mertens, Andrea Belotti and the Capocannoniere, Edin Džeko. No Juventus player had scored that amount of goals in a single season since David Trezeguet in the 2001-2002.
One of the most talked about aspects of Higuaín’s career was his supposed inability to score in big games, something mostly attributed to his performances with his national side in the finals he played in at the Copa America and World Cup events. In the 2014 World Cup in Brazil he failed a clear one-on-one in the final against Germany, and he did so as well in the 2016 Copa America final against Chile. Both of these opportunities would have given Argentina the lead in each final, in which they eventually failed to score and lost.
Regardless of that, this season he showed up in several of the most important games for the bianconeri. The most obvious example is in the semi-final of the Champions League against Monaco. In the first league in France he scored a brace, the only goals that were scored during that game, which pretty much secured the qualification to the final for Juventus.
During the Serie A campaign, he scored against Juventus’ direct rivals for the title in three different occasions. He scored the only goal in the victory against Roma at the Juventus Stadium, and he also scored the winning goal against Napoli in the same stadium. Against his former side he also scored three goals across both legs in the Copa Italia semi-final, securing his side triumph to reach the final of the competition for the third straight year.
While the striker still has to keep this form for a longer period of time to justify the big investment made for him by the club, he started of his spell at Juventus with the right foot.
By: Hernán Busso/@Hernan1897