Chelsea Transfers: Edinson Cavani or Fernando Torres?
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Chelsea are in negotiations to sign Napoli star forward Edinson Cavani, according to the London Evening Standard.
A few weeks ago, Cavani told Il Mattino (via ESPN Soccernet), "Are the big Premier League clubs looking at me? My response can only be Forza Napoli!"
The transfer speculation surrounding the Cavani as a future Chelsea player raises the question: Cavani or Fernando Torres?
Edinson Cavani's 2011-12 Season for Napoli
Edinson Cavani posted back-to-back seasons of 30 goals or more.
There were four games that distinguished El Matador's season: the 3-1 win over AC Milan, the 2-1 win over Manchester City, the 2-2 draw against Udinese and the 3-1 over Chelsea.
Cavani tore Alessandro Nesta to shreds, whilst Thiago Silva couldn't stop the Uruguayan from scoring a world-class hat trick.
He only touched the ball 38 times against City, as he received tight marking from Joleon Lescott and Vincent Kompany. Cavani's movement allowed him to get into space a few times and he scored twice.
The Udinese game typified Cavani time. 80 minutes into the game, he hadn't scored and he had missed from 12 yards out. All this whilst his team had a one-man advantage. Once the final whistle sounded, he had scored a brace.
It wasn't a surprise because during the 2010-11 season, he scored game-winning or equalising goals in the 86th minute, 87th minute, 88th minute, 92nd minute, 93rd minute and 97th minute.
In the 3-1 win over a Blues side that had given up on André Villas-Boas, Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi toyed with the future UEFA Champions League winners.
In hindsight, let's focus on what happened in the 80th minute, which was a pivotal moment in the Blues' Champions League journey.
Cavani dragged out David Luiz, offloaded possession to Marek HamŠík and he passed it back to the Uruguayan (Luiz had forgotten to mark him; surprise, surprise), who swung at air. The ball fell to Christian Maggio and his shot was cleared off the line by Ashley Cole. Now, the interesting anecdote is that the Englishman wouldn't have been on the field if José Bosingwa didn't pull his hamstring.
Cavani did have some low moments last season.
Inexplicably missing several penalties tainted his reputation as a ice-veined, big-moment player.
Sending his shot into Petr Čech's side-netting and then missing a glorious opportunity was an unfortunate conclusion to his Champions League season.
Fernando Torres' 2011-12 Season for Chelsea
It was an up-and-down season for Fernando Torres.
That fortnight in September was such an eventful period in his tenure at Chelsea. He showed such selflessness against Bayer Leverkusen, even though he was under intense scrutiny to score.
A few days later against Manchester United, he expertly finished over David De Gea, who had made some great saves. Late in the game, Torres dinked his way through on goal, sold De Gea the dummy and somehow missed an open goal.
Unsurprisingly, his embarrassing miss dominated headlines, but he somewhat rectified it against Swansea City.
Not only did he score, but he was marking smart runs, providing incisive passes and was pressing hard—especially on Leon Britton, who only completed 86 percent of his passes (the Swans midfielder would go on to become the most accurate passer in Europe's elite leagues).
Like against United, Torres suffered a brain fade, as he launched a two-footed tackle on Mark Gower, which led to his dismissal.
The lowest of lows in Torres' season was when he turned down Juan Mata's offer to take a penalty in a 2-0 win over Birmingham City. It was as if the memories of missing La Liga penalties against Sevilla and Celta Vigo flooded El Niño's mind.
The brace and the two assists in the 5-2 win over Leicester City gave Torres some much needed relief. He followed it up with productive games against Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers.
Scoring against Barcelona, a team he tormented during his Atlético Madrid days, was a feel-good moment—Gary Neville certainly enjoyed it.
What wasn't feel-good was when he found out that he wasn't listed to take a penalty against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League final. He told guillembalague.com (via espn.co.uk), "I wanted to take a penalty but they didn't let me."
Statistically Comparing Edinson Cavani to Fernando Torres
Edinson Cavani is easily a better forward than Fernando Torres.
The Uruguayan's movement is impeccable, he has wonderful positional awareness and elite finishing ability.
His passing isn't as good as Torres' but the Uruguayan makes up for it with prolific goal scoring.
|Shots Per Goal||5.3||11|
|Shots Created Per Game||0.8||1|
Give Fernando Torres One More Chance
Why the 180 from your vendetta against Torres?
It's hard to root against someone who has been so team orientated, yet so blatantly mistreated (still not as bad as the way the club have dealt with Romelu Lukaku).
The statistics don't tell you how many times Daniel Sturridge refused to pass the ball to Torres.
12 goals in 67 games for a £50 million-valued forward glosses over Torres' assists, his tireless work without the ball and his all-round displays.
|Games Played||Sub Affected Games|
In 58 percent of Torres' games for the Blues, he either started as a sub or was subbed off. No wonder his goal scoring stats are so bad.
The allure of signing the world-class Edinson Cavani overshadows the possibility of Torres finally becoming good. We're talking about Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar providing through balls to Torres.
You'd think El Niño would at least score 25 goals next season, especially after some promising signs at Euro 2012.
Chelsea invested £50 million and £175,000 a week in Torres. Sticking him by last season would be made redundant, if the Blues sign Cavani, which would also mean the end of the Spaniard's career at Stamford Bridge.
Give Torres an extended run as a starter and we can finally gain closure if he fails or revels in his success.