Stats: How Edinson Cavani compares to Olivier Giroud

Cavani

In the very latest Arsenal transfer news, Paris Saint-Germain striker has been linked with a move to North London.

Arsenal's new-found Galactico-style policy could be ramped up a gear should they strike a landmark agreement with Paris Saint-Germain over the transfer of mis-used forward Edinson Cavani, a 27-year-old who seemingly wants out of the Parc des Princes club as he is continually pushed out wide in order to accommodate primary striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

If there is anybody who can sympathise most with Cavani, it is Zlatan, as the cult hero career stagnated when he went to Barcelona, where the forward line was built around Lionel Messi and so Ibrahimovic was ordered to play second-fiddle. Ibrahimovic got his career back on track when he engineered a move to AC Milan, and then finally to PSG.

If Cavani wants to get become the main man up top once more, perhaps he needs to do the same thing - and Arsene Wenger may be the one to give him a reprieve as the Frenchman is prepared to smash the Mesut Ozil club transfer record by paying PSG £51 million - an offer so good the Ligue 1 powerhouse may not be able to refuse as they need to balance their books first before they can afford Real Madrid attacker Angel di Maria.

Considering the dearth in quality options in defensive midfield and the lack of cover at centre back, combined with the numerous options available to Wenger in the centre forward position including Olivier Giroud, Yaya Sanogo, Joel Campbell and even Lukas Podolski, the acquisition of Cavani would surely represent a luxury, rather than essential, buy.

However, when comparing Cavani's statistics from his peak season - his final year at Napoli, playing as a striker rather than drifting out wide like he did for PSG last term - to Giroud, there is one clear performer at the elite-level… and it is not the Gunner.

  Club (season)Total Pass / appPass AccChances CreatedAssistsShots / appGoals / Shots %GoalsMins / Goals + Assists AppsMins
Cavani Napoli (2012-13) 20.5 78.0% 31 4 4.6 18.6% 29 90.3 34 2,981
Giroud Arsenal (2013-14) 30.9 68.9% 37 8 3.11 14.3% 16 128.3 36 3,081

Giroud acquitted himself well in his second season in the Premier League, but even after his most productive spell in England, his performance in key attacking areas still paled next to Cavani's.

The France striker may have been responsible for more passes on a per game average and his creativity is also underlined by the fact he created more goal-scoring opportunities (37 to Cavani's 31), as well as twice as many direct assists, but when it comes to pure goal-scoring ability, it is Edinson who is far more effective.

Cavani scored from over 18% of his shots on goal, almost one in every five, while also showing a greater prolificacy when it comes to total shots on a per game average.

His return of 29 goals from 34 outings in Serie A for the 2012-13 season with Napoli placed him with performers such as Luis Suarez from last season, Zlatan Ibrahimovic from last year and even Lionel Messi, of Barcelona. 

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In terms of combined goals and assists, Cavani also affected the scoreline with a superior frequency than Giroud, as the former scored or assisted once every 90.3 minutes (effectively every game on average), while Olivier's return was once every 128.3 minutes.

Should Arsenal still find their utility player in the transfer market, a player adept at covering both centre back and defensive midfield, and still have £50 million spare - then the addition of Cavani would not only make a considerable statement of intent, but also make the club front-runners for the Premier League title.

Do you think Arsenal should buy Cavani?

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