With a stunning return of 36 goals in 35 Serie A games this season, Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain has written his name into Italian football folklore.
The Argentine broke a 66-year-old Serie A record previously held by Gunnar Nordahl for most goals in a single campaign, and has cemented himself as a Partenopei legend with his goalscoring exploits since joining the club.
While the progress made under Maurizio Sarri has been impressive this season, Napoli ultimately fell short of their ultimate objective of winning the Scudetto.
Having set the pace earlier in the campaign, the club were surpassed by Juventus and ended the campaign nine points adrift of Massimiliano Allegri’s men.
Despite breaking records and lighting up the Stadio San Paolo in numerous occasions, Higuain’s heroics were ultimately not enough to dethrone the Turin giants, and that in turn could spell trouble in terms of his future in Naples.
The former Real Madrid striker may well be thinking the complete opposite in that he will be even more motivated next season to finish top of the pile with Napoli and follow in the footsteps of Diego Maradona.
Sarri has put in place the foundation to be successful this year, and with the right signings this summer they could be a real threat in Italy and Europe.
However, there is an argument to suggest that Higuain won’t be able to contribute as much as he did this season, and perhaps that in turn means he’ll look to leave on a high and start a new challenge elsewhere next year.
With no shortage of interest from the Premier League as Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal have all reportedly expressed a desire to sign him, Higuain could be facing some difficult questions this summer.
According to Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague, the Argentine international is seriously considering a move to Stamford Bridge if Diego Costa leaves, but what is clear is that Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis will not allow the striker to leave for anything significant short of his €94m release clause.
While a move to west London would seemingly revolve around Costa, both United and Arsenal will be in desperate need of signing a prolific striker this summer, as both sides have certainly struggled in that regard this year.
If the player reveals a desire to leave, then perhaps the situation will change and Napoli will look to cash in for as much as possible. However, having shown a stubbornness previously in their dealings with Edinson Cavani and PSG, it is clear that they will dictate the terms.
Higuain has made an excellent impact in Serie A since arriving in 2013, but now he has to decide whether that adventure will continue and has room to grow or if it’s time to move on in his attempt to win silverware.
Follow Sumeet Paul on Twitter @SP_Calcio