A few weeks ago, a few hours after transfer deadline day to be precise, one was sitting in a bar somewhere on the holiday island of Ibiza still drinking in a night out to see the blistering French DJ David Guetta while blethering to an Arsenal fan.
As news filtered through from a television that Guetta's fellow Frenchman Arsene Wenger had landed the attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid in a landmark £42.4 million club record purchase, the Gooner let out a massive “yes” that perhaps could only have been bettered if Guetta had started spinning (Work hard), Play hard over brunch. Party time in the Balearics suddenly felt more like Saturday afternoon on Holloway Road.
There is little doubt that Ozil has justified such sporadic moments of excitement among the London club's fans. Real Madrid's supporters have made obvious their discontent about flogging Ozil to Arsenal to help accommodate the £85m world record signing of Gareth Bale from Tottenham.
Tension in Madrid appeared to boil over on Saturday after the 1-0 defeat to city foes Atletico left them five points behind Barcelona in La Liga with some fans calling for the demise of president Florentino Perez for his role in selling Ozil while apparently trying to discredit aspects of the player’s personal life to justify such a contentious transfer. Is Bale craftier than Ozil? Who knows? Is Bale worth twice the price of Ozil? Certainly not.
Ozil is the type of player who could easily support his new club's push to finish in the top four. Or perhaps accommodate an unlikely bid for the Premier League title. Such talk would have prompted much guffawing only a few weeks ago, but eight straight away wins in the Premier League amid five on the bounce since the opening day loss to Aston Villa is rich form. Especially when one considers the suspect returns of the usual suspects from Manchester. First prize is suddenly not so "ridiculous" as you might suggest, Arsene.
Ozil became the leading goal provider in the Premier League with three assists this season in only his second match in the 3-1 win over Stoke City. He is a prodigious creator of goals, providing more for companions than any other player in Europe over the past five seasons.
While Madrid’s loss has been their gain, Gonzalo Higuain's transfer from Real Madrid to Napoli should be much to the chagrin of Arsenal followers. At various junctures during the summer, Higuain seemed likely to wash up at the Emirates especially with bullish noises emanating from chief executive Ivan Gazidis about the club’s ability to compete with Europe’s larger concerns for an assortment of blue-chip players.
Arsenal could not get the Higuain deal over the line as they apparently became fixated with the Liverpool forward Luis Suarez before Napoli unearthed the £34.5 million needed to snare the Argentina player. Higuain was always a more realistic target than Suarez. Wenger has conceded Higuain is one that got away.
"We were working on two or three targets and Higuain was one of them," said Wenger. "It didn't come off in the end, but that doesn't take anything away from his quality. Napoli took advantage of that at the right moment.
"As we know, in the end Real Madrid sold two great players, one of them went to Napoli, one went to Arsenal so it's 1-1 on that front."
Arsenal's fans booed Higuain during a 2-2 draw with Napoli in the pre-season Emirates Cup tournament in August. This sounds like a massive slight, but is actually a fair old compliment. Only a figure who is deemed worthy of booing is worth booing. Berating Higuain only endorses the notion that Wenger slipped up when he missed out on a forward who is perhaps undeservedly under appreciated.
Providing he is fit this evening, Arsenal fans get the chance to dust down their boos when Napoli visit the Emirates for their Champions League Group F match with confidence seemingly coursing through visiting veins.
Arsenal’s defence will probably provide the key to whether or not they can sustain their unheralded spell at the top of the Premier League, but Higuain’s technical skills would have enhanced their considerable options going forward on breathless European nights like this evening.
Not the typical lone striker up top, he enjoys dropping wide right before plummeting into the opposition box, the type of elusiveness and unpredictability that would have made him a real nuisance in the Premier League when one considers Ozil is playing provider. He is a rounded attacker rather than penalty box poacher.
With three goals in six games, Higuain has recovered from damaging his jaw during a boating trip to Capri to help Napoli sit second top of Serie A only two points behind Roma. Higuain scored in the 2-1 win over last year’s Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund on opening night a fortnight ago highlighting his efficiency as he managed to ghost away from a redoubtable visiting defence with some regularity.
Through balls to Higuain from Marek Hamsik and Lorenzo Insigne are a popular feature of Rafael Benitez’s side that could purge Arsenal. His value will surely only increase at next year’s World Cup finals. 13 goals in the past two years for Argentina only makes one aware of Higuain's potency. 21 goals from 35 international appearances is heady stuff.
And to think he could have been doing all this for Arsenal. He works hard, plays hard. Pity Higuain is not doing it at the Emirates. Listen for those boos this evening.