Scouting Report: Could Christian Stuani Be Arsenal's Carlos Vela Alternative?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJune 25, 2014

Could Espanyol's Uruguayan international Christian Stuani—a 27-year-old, 6'1", 170-pound right attacking midfielder—be Arsenal's transfer-window alternative to Carlos Vela?

Arsenal waived their right to buy back Vela for £3.5 million when Real Sociedad agreed to pay £8.8 million plus £4 million in performance clauses, per The Guardian

Should Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger target Stuani?

To explore that hypothetical, this article grades Stuani's performance in Uruguay's 1-0 win over Italy at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and provides a scouting report on his season with Espanyol.


Stuani vs. Italy Grade: F

With Italy down a man after Claudio Marchisio's red card, Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez subbed Stuani in to add attacking impetus.  

Operating centrally as a deep-lying forward, Stuani was ineffective.

Stuani only touched the ball 13 times in 33 minutes, per

Christian Stuani 
Key Passes0

Stuani failed to threaten Italian centre-backs Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.

Making a single pass to Luis Suarez, Uruguay's most valuable player, was another indictment on Stuani's anonymous game. 

Given a chance to shine on the world stage, Stuani wasted his opportunity.

Fortunately for him, his failure was engulfed by Suarez biting Chiellini, an act which was not as despicable as Toni Schumacher assaulting Patrick Battiston at the 1982 World Cup, but will hold the same level of infamy. 


Stuani Espanyol Positives

Stuani can interchange flanks. 

Brave, gutsy and unflinching, Stuani shares similar intangibles to Suarez.

Ramming into Barcelona players Jordi Alba and Neymar captures how Stuani plays: an aggressive, in-your-face, hyper-competitive and physical brand of football. 

Stuani put his body on the line to score headers against Almeria and Valencia. 


Stuani Espanyol Negatives

Stuani's combativeness has crossed the line in the past. One instance of this was when he led with his elbow against Almeria defensive midfielder Fran Velez.

Stuani needs to improve his shooting efficiency as he falls short when converting scoring chances.

This was illustrated against Almeria, Athletic Bilbao and Granada

Last season, Stuani scored six goals on 53 shots with a 48 percent shooting accuracy in league play, per

Stuani's pass-completion percentage (54.5) is 31.5 percent below the Arsenal average. 


Bottom Line      

Wenger surrendering his right to buy back Vela for £3.5 million, who scored 16 times and created 12 goals last season, proves Arsenal's pursuit of him was a facade.

Rather than increase squad depth, Wenger wanted easy money in the form of around £12 million, per BBC Sport.

Yes, Stuani is a totally different player, but here are three reasons why Wenger could be interested.

  • Stuani can start on the right, centrally and on the left. 
  • He is a seasoned professional having played in Europe since 2008.
  • He is feisty, direct and strong in the air, so his style is suited to the Premier League. 

However, from an individual point of view, Stuani may prefer being a starter at a mid-tier Premier League team than a squad player at Arsenal.



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