Paul Pogba became the world’s most expensive footballer after moving from Juventus to Manchester United for a reported €105 million. However, former Chelsea and Inter Milan forward Hernan Crespo thinks that Juventus got a better deal in their €90 million capture of Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli.
The Serie A champions have been at the centre of two of the biggest transfers of the summer. They signed Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain from bitter rivals Napoli for a massive fee of €90 million, making him the third most expensive signing in history.
A few weeks later, I Bianconeri made Paul Pogba the most expensive player in history when they sold him to Manchester United for a reported €105 million. However Higuain’s compatriot Hernan Crespo thinks that the transfer of the 28-year-old striker was much more logical than the Pogba transfer.
“You don’t get anything for free, even less so in football,” Crespo told Argentine publication La Nacion. “If they spent that much it is only because Higuain is worth it or at least they expect to get a return on him.
“I believe it is far more logical to pay €90m for Higuain, who has just scored 36 goals, than spending €110m on Pogba. With all respect — and he is a great player — goals are what make the difference in world football.”
The comments by Crespo open up a fresh can of worms about whether goals are the ultimate benchmark for footballers. It is a controversial stance that many defensive minded players don’t take too kindly to, with former German captain Philipp Lahm even labelling the Ballon d’Or award a popularity contest for strikers.
In this particular context, there will be many who will be quick to disagree with Crespo. At 28 years old, Higuain is approaching the twilight of his career. The Argentine may have notched up a record 36 goals with Napoli last season, but has often been criticised for failing to turn up in the big matches against stronger opponents.
23-year-old Paul Pogba, on the other hand, has been hailed as one of the heirs to the throne of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. He has a long career ahead of him and provides a presence in midfield that can turn a match on its head. The Frenchman also registered 8 goals and 12 assists for Juve last season, and those figures look set to increase.
In the end football is a team sport, and attacking build up and the dominance of the team as a whole is as important as the finishing touch laid on the ball by a striker.