Date: 30th January 2013 at 5:17pm
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With Mario Balotelli about to leave pining hacks with nobody to scream witch over anymore, VMC’s Lorna calls on Roberto Mancini to bolster his strike force again this year…

Something of a hidden gem has come to my attention. Gonzalo Higuaín, (fondly known as ‘Pipita’) the attacking midfielder come forward for Real Madrid and Argentina. 25 years old, younger than this week’s heavily linked David Villa, less injury prone than the Barcelona star, loaded with fast, precision passing skills and a potential goal-scoring machine. His long range strikes are brilliant.



Don’t get me wrong. Villa would be good for us even if it were just in the form of a loan, but looking long term we need a permanent replacement for Balotelli. However, ‘Sky Sports sources understand that Manchester City are not interested in any deal for Barcelona striker David Villa’ the rumour mill remains fascinating…Whatever happens this week or in the summer, I feel confident that the powers that be at City will choose wisely.

Of course, Real Madrid’s Higuain is not going to happen in this January transfer window but in the summer after the pressures of the league have gone, this will be as ever the perfect time for City to regroup. If we have not retained the title of Champions this time round, we sure as hell can work immediately on getting it back!

It has not gone unnoticed around The Etihad that City’s strikers are not performing at their best of late, who knows why, but it is sad to see the gap between Red and Blue potentially widening in this area. So, looking at Higuain, what has he got that is so special and what can he offer us?

Higuain is an excellent clinical finisher, holds the ball well and can pass and shoot from distance. He also gets stuck in.

Even though the Argentina international has just returned after being absent for two months with a hamstring problem, he is still Madrid’s second highest scorer in La Liga and whether he plays close to the six-yard box or along the right wing, he has most certainly got has what it takes to be lethal. He has played 235 matches and scored 111 goals in his seven seasons with Madrid…and that is a lot of goals!

He made his debut for Real Madrid in January 2007 and has excelled ever since. Higuain has a footballing family, his brother, Federico, plays for River Plate (in Argentina) and his father (‘Pipa’) played for Boca Juniors (Tévez), River Plate and finally ending up in France.

Rumours as far back as December 2012 saw Higuain going to Chelsea but that one seems to have run its course (or one would hope it has). Higuain was also linked to City in the summer last year with us apparently willing to spend £35m in an attempt to purchase him. Of course, that did not happen BUT the intention might not have gone away.

One good thing of note and one that is far removed from our Super Mario is that Higuaín is a ‘down to earth’ kind of guy and does not keep up with the height of fashion. Likes a laugh but on the pitch he does what he is there to do. I very much doubt we will see him with varying hair styles fanfared by City’s website people!

On the whole Higuain would be the perfect addition for City and I am sure our exisiting Argentine and Spanish family would make him feel welcome.

UPCOMING FIXTURES:
all times East Manchester

Su 03Feb 16h00 Liverpool, The Etihad, PL
Sa 09Feb 17h30 Southampton, St Mary’s, PL
Su 17Feb 14h00 Leeds United, The Etihad, FAC5
Su 24Feb 13h30 Chelsea, The Etihad, PL
Mo 04Mar 20h00 Aston Villa, Villa Park, PL
Sa 09Mar 15h00 Wigan, The Etihad, PL
Sa 16Mar 12h45 Everton, Goodison Park, PL
Sa 30Mar 15h00 Newcastle, The Etihad, PL