Gonzalo Higuain: How Alejandro Pozuelo's arrival changed Inter Miami

G Higuain MIA

Need proof of Alejandro Pozuelo’s strong impact at Inter Miami CF? Ask one of the strikers the 2020 Landon Donovan MLS MVP provides service to.

Gonzalo Higuain feels the No. 10 and his fellow Designated Player, acquired in early July via a trade with Toronto FC, has positively transformed his MLS career.

The former Argentine international, who has played for the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus and more, explained his vantage point before Miami welcome Toronto, Pozuelo’s former team, on Saturday night (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+).

“Without a doubt, he is a player who has helped me a lot because with him on the field, I don’t feel an obligation to drop back and get the ball,” said the 34-year-old, per a Miami Herald story. “I can play where I’ve played my whole career, up top as the No. 9.

“His arrival has made the team better, which you can see with our recent results. I am so happy that he came for what he contributes to the team and for motivating me to play better and allowing me to stay higher up in the attack.”

Their partnership has surfaced on the field, with Pozuelo (Week 25) and Higuain (Week 23) both earning MLS Player of the Week presented by Continental Tire honors since the Spaniard arrived in south Florida.

That duo has combined for seven goals and four assists since Pozuelo debuted for Miami in a 3-2 win over Charlotte FC on July 16. And in head coach Phil Neville’s eyes, the stars’ on-field understanding has Higuain playing at his best level since joining the club in 2020.

“Last season we joked that we needed two Gonzalos, one to pass the ball to Gonzalo and one Gonzalo to finish,” Neville said. “Now he trusts the players to pass him the ball and that’s why he’s staying higher, he’s getting more chances in behind.

“His goal against Montréal was sensational, especially his movement. He now has great trust in Pozuelo and Bryce \[Duke\] to make that pass for him and that’s why we’re seeing Gonzalo play the best he has in three or four seasons.”

All told, Miami’s DPs have sparked a 3W-1L-2D run that has them eighth in the Eastern Conference standings. The Herons are even on points (33) with two teams for the seventh-and-final Audi MLS Cup Playoffs spot, but below rival Orlando City SC on tiebreakers.

For more from Higuain, check out Michelle Kaufman’s entire Miami Herald story here.