Expectation weighs on Higuain

When Juventus face Fiorentina in tonight’s opening round Serie A clash, they’re going to do so with a few of their most high priced ever signings in tow. There’s captain Gianluigi Buffon and Paulo Dybala. Miralem Pjanic, a new addition towards the list, may well also feature.However the man who tops the chart is expected to start in the bench. That has been the word floating about the Bianconeri camp this week, with €90m man Gonzalo Higuain to watch on as Mario Mandzukic partners Dybala in attack.It is sure to raise eyebrows, after the fourth most fifa 17 coins pricey transfer of all time. And it’s something which will follow Higuain – and Coach Massimiliano Allegri – this season. The big-money move ensures the pressure is on the striker to deliver at Juventus Stadium, just as he did so exceptionally for Napoli in 2015-16.With 36 goals in 35 matches, Higuain enjoyed a history-breaking campaign.

He was streets ahead of his contemporaries – Dybala was second on the scorers list with 19 – and deadlier in front of goal than any player since the 1929 formation of the modern Serie A. Simply unstoppable, Higuain was the leading force behind Napoli’s Scudetto fifa 17 ultimate team coins charge. A mix of power, precision and clever movement helped the Argentine to his outstanding tally. The 28-year-old scored goals of every type: close and long range, headers, clinical finishes and the jaw-dropping spectacular.The obvious question after such a season and the nature of his switch is whether he can repeat it, this time in Black and White. There is already one similarity to last season. When Maurizio Sarri arrived at Napoli, he felt Higuain was too lazy and only playing to 70 percent of his potential. Higuain was put on a diet to become a lean, mean scoring machine.Higuain’s first match in Juventus colours a fortnight ago against West Ham prompted similar questions about his physique. Former Croatia international Robert Prosinecki went so far as to brand Higuain “a pig.’He had minimal impact off the bench in London and so too as a starter against Espanyol last weekend. Juve drew 2-2, but Higuain was a peripheral figure.Prompted to comment on the condition of his record signing, Allegri was diplomatic in his response.

“He and those who started pre-season training later will need a while to get to the same level.”Higuain is believed to be under the control of nutritionist Matteo Pincella to reach peak condition. Footage from Vinovo this week shows Pipita is on the right path, something Allegri noted on Friday in the pre-match Press conference: “In the last week he’s improved a lot.”He also opened his account on Wednesday in the annual Bianconeri family match at Villar Perosa. Juventus will be counting on his goals to help secure a record-breaking sixth consecutive Scudetto and to go far in the Champions League. European glory is high on the Old Lady’s agenda.The striker’s next challenge will be to fit the mould at Juventus. What the Bianconeri will not want is an incident similar to last season’s outburst against Udinese, which saw Higuain banned for three matches and Napoli’s Scudetto aspirations turn to dust.Higuain will also need to gel with Dybala. On paper it’s the expected attacking combination. Yet from his Real Madrid days through to Napoli and at international level, he is used to playing in a trident attack.

 

At Juventus it could be a little different, but he is joining Serie A’s best team.They have the weapons to switch, but Allegri’s base formation is anticipated to be the now-customary 3-5-2. Not that service will be lacking in Turin, with Dybala, Pjanic, Claudio Marchisio, Dani Alves and Alex Sandro on the pitch to provide support.Notorious for his big-match misses – the 2014 World Cup Final and July’s Copa America Centenario decider spring to mind – there is no doubt that after spending so much, Juventus are expecting a return. How then, can Allegri get the best out of Higuain?Rafa Benitez never did in his two seasons at Napoli. However the contrast to his time under Sarri was striking. The former Empoli boss felt Higuain was a sensitive person. “A champion of his ability sometimes just needs to feel close to those around him.’Known for his personable approach, Allegri will be hoping he too can strike the right chord.If so, Juventus will have in their possession one of football’s most lethal marksmen. A player with a knack for goals they hope can take them far this season.Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain’s Primera Division with Football Espana – from the team behind Football Italia.