A striker appears to be at the top of Arsene Wenger’s wish list this summer, after the club signed Granit Xhaka early on. Arsenal activated the release clause in Jamie Vardy’s Leicester contract, but the forward is stalling on a move to the Gunners and they need to start looking at other targets. The move for Vardy looks increasingly unlikely, which is why the link to Edinson Cavani is interesting. He is very much a different forward to Vardy and hasn’t had a great time in France with PSG. However, he is a bigger name and a forward that could just fit the Arsenal system a lot better.
Cavani has a good goal record in France, and has had one throughout his career in Europe, but he was always overshadowed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Paris. The Swede’s exit may make it harder for clubs to tempt the French club to sell. The Express report that the Uruguayan has turned down a big money move to China in order to move to the Premier League instead. It would be a move that appealed to the forward as he has always done well against English clubs in the Champions League and the style would suit him. Whether Arsenal is the ideal move is another question.
The PSG striker is a complete forward, capable of holding the ball up and linking with the midfield. He can also be direct, is an effective dribbler and a consistent goal-scorer. He has a high work rate and is a great athlete, which is why he has been used as a wide forward during his spell in Paris. He is good in the air as well, and would be the perfect lone striker for Arsenal. His finishing is perhaps not the best, but he has a good goal record, and would likely score more than Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck have been in recent seasons.
Jamie Vardy would have been an interesting signing, given Arsenal haven’t had a striker that likes to run behind for a long time. He is a good finisher and a tireless worker, but there are doubts about whether he would have suited the Arsenal style of play. Arsene Wenger likes to get his midfielders involved, and they have some of the best goalscorers from midfield. Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey are all capable of scoring frequently. Vardy would be a good signing in that he would provide a plan B and would be effective in matches where Arsenal aren’t the favourites, but he wouldn’t be as effective in Arsenal’s primary tactic. Teams like to defend deep against the Gunners, and Vardy would get less space to get in behind.
Overall, I think Edinson Cavani would be a better fit for Arsenal, as he suits their style of play a lot more. He would allow Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to thrive, whereas Jamie Vardy would represent a huge risk, given he only has one elite top flight season to his name at the age of 29. Cavani hasn’t played in the Premier League, but he has scored everywhere he has went and offers a lot more experience at the highest level. Granit Xhaka should solve Arsenal’s problems in the midfield, while Cavani would be the big name striker that Arsenal supporters have wanted for years.