Gonzalo Higuaín's time in south Florida has been underwhelming to say the least. The one-time Serie A golden boot winner never truly found his footing with Inter Miami, scoring just 13 goals in his first 39 matches. Now, in a different role, it seems like Higuain could be starting to find his form for the Herons.
Higuain was once the every-match starter for Inter Miami, but the arrival of forward Leo Campana from Wolverhampton Wanderers has pushed the Argentine to the bench. Campana has become the every-game striker for coach Phil Neville, leaving Higuain to be a super-sub for the Herons.
While this may sound like a negative for the highly-touted Higuain, it seems like the move has made a positive impact for the 34-year-old striker.
In the last two matches, Higuain has scored two amazing goals within the final 30 minutes of game time. In both cases, he came on at the 60th minute and made an immediate impact. In the match against the Philadelphia Union where nothing could seem to go the Herons' way, Higuain came on, made an amazing dribble and sent a screaming shot into the top left corner past MLS All-Star Andre Blake. This elite caliber of play was one of the first in Higuain's tenure in Fort Lauderdale.
In the thrilling 3-2 comeback win over Charlotte FC, Higuain scored the game tying goal in the 72nd minute. A beautiful ball from Gregore set Higuain up inside the box for the equalizer. The shot was struck well, and noticeably had power on it. Just look at the full-speed run from Higuain into the box. This is clearly a different player.
To me, this move has made Higuain a lot better. Since his move to the bench, the Herons' No. 10 just looks more electric and energized, something he usually lost before half-time when he was a starter. In reality, the 34-year-old probably shouldn't have been starting games in the first place. Coming on against tired and worn-out defenses makes more sense for Higuain and Inter Miami. In addition, Higuain's performance against Charlotte earned MLS Team of the Week honors.
Going forward, it will be very interesting to see if Higuain can keep this run of form up. Inter Miami already has one of the best forwards in the MLS with Campana starting games, so if Higuain can come on and make an impact in the second half of every game, things will continue to look up for the ninth placed Herons.