Edinson Cavani – is he worth it? by Big Gun
Our current squad is looking stronger and believably more optimistic than it ever has since the era of the Invincibles. It has taken almost 10 years to get to the point where we can confidently say – Arsenal are back. Everyone is talking about it, especially after our sublime display against league winners Man City last weekend to clench another high profile trophy in the short span of 2 months.
Although things are looking extremely promising, we can all agree that Arsenal still need one or two more players for added quality and assurance for success this season. Most of us have been crying for a defensive midfielder and I personally think this should be our first priority as Arteta is getting on with age and with all due respect, seems to struggle a bit against more physical teams who apply pressure. Flamini is not bad when paired with another holding midfielder, but we need a player in that position who can thrive in isolation.
Many fans have expressed their desire for another striker/centre forward to rotate with Giroud. Personally, although I believe Giroud does have his place in the squad, I think we do need another hit man up front. Perhaps it is more of a want than a need, considering we now have Sanchez and Joel Campbell to add to the cause up front, but I feel we need someone a bit more versatile than Giroud, especially in games where we can utilize the counter attacking pace of strikers like Theo, Chamberlain, Joel, Sanchez etc.
Enter Edinson Cavani. In recent posts, many have expressed mixed feelings about his possible acquisition. He did not have a great World Cup, and this has obviously affected opinion. Many have also said that he has not performed well enough at PSG to warrant his price tag. 50m is a hell of a lot for any player, but I still think he is world class and if we can afford him, we SHOULD buy him and I will explain why.
He was second fiddle to Zlatan Ibra at PSG, and was forced into playing in a foreign position on the RW all season where previously at Napoli and earlier he was bred and groomed as a central striker. If you know anything about football, it takes time to get used to playing in a different position as there are many factors involved that need to be ironed out in order to excel in that new position. Rooney is a prime example. Before RvP joined, he was their primary central striker and was bagging close to 30 goals, sometimes more successively each season. After RvP joined, he was pushed into a deeper role as a CAM or deep lying CF where he struggled to achieve as many goals as in previous seasons. It was not only the fact that he was further from goal, but he had to change his whole mentality and game dynamic on the pitch, which ultimately affected his game. I bet if he was played back in his old position, he would be scoring just as many goals as before RvP joined.
Even though at PSG, Cavani was played out of his natural position, he still managed a tally of 16 goals in 25 starting appearances in his first season at PSG. Any way you look at it, those stats are pretty good. That is about a goal and a half every two games. I would love to see what he could accomplish as a central striker at PSG, and even more so at Arsenal. Giroud, on the other hand, has amassed 27 goals after 60 appearances, and that is in his natural position as central striker. Basically just below 1 goal every 2 games. Not bad, but not great either seeing as most of his goals are tap ins and headers a few feet away from goals.
Cavani might not be Sturridge in terms of pace, but he is a lot quicker than Giroud and not to mention skilful. He is also excellent in the air and not easily bullied of the ball. In a nutshell, an extremely versatile striker and deadly when played in his natural position. The only issue I have is his wages. If he wishes to join Arsenal, he will have to take a wage cut, something I think which is quite likely to happen because the player himself has expressed his unhappiness at being no2 at PSG, being benched and played out of position. Some players out there are content to sit out and be shoved around, as long as they are earning exorbitant wages they don’t seem to mind. But Cavani’s attitude differs in that he would rather take the pressure and responsibility of being No1 and getting the game time, than sitting out and watching the rest of his career fly by. He is a winner, and winners want the ball. This is why I believe he would be an excellent buy because Arsenal need a no nonsense striker up front who has the ability (as we have seen in Cavani) to smash 30 goals a season and take us to the title. He is 27 years of age, perhaps on the wrong side of it, but still got a good 3-4 years left.
After looking at those stats and seen what he is capable of before and during his tenure at PSG, I think 50m can be justified. We are not talking about Torres here, who lost form even before he went to Chelsea. Cavani is still on form and he is definitely a major upgrade to Giroud. Again it all depends on finances, but I’d say if we can actually afford him, then why not? It is not like we have four central strikers like City, Chelsea etc…we only really have Giroud and Sanogo. It is a position that has been slightly overlooked since we acquired Sanchez, but never the less a position we still need some depth in. Sanogo has major potential, but if Giroud gets injured, I do not think placing so much pressure on his shoulders would be wise, especially if we are aiming at winning the double, perhaps even the triple. With a player like Cavani on board, the triple is definitely on the cards.