Scouting Report: Is Eduardo Vargas Arsenal's Loic Remy Transfer Alternative?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJune 29, 2014

Could Napoli's Chilean international Eduardo Vargas—a 24-year-old, 5'9", 152-pound forward—be Arsenal's summer transfer window alternative to Queens Park Rangers centre-forward Loic Remy?

To cover that hypothetical, here is a scouting report of Vargas.

 

Vargas' 2014 FIFA World Cup Summary

Starting up front, Vargas scored and created a combined 0.75 goals per game at the World Cup, which was substantially higher than his La Liga average (0.24) on loan at Valencia last season. 

That said, Vargas needed to be more active. 

Vargas ranked in the bottom three in distance covered for outfield starters in every single one of Chile's World Cup games, per FIFA.com.

Vargas, a Michael Jordan fanboy, needed to be like Mike in manically competing for every possession, rather than being here and there like Stephon Marbury. 

Greek attacking midfielder Lazaros Christodoulopoulos took the same amount of shots in one game against Ivory Coast (four) as Vargas did in the entire tournament. 

While Vargas was statistically solidone goal and two assists in four games—he did not have the same impact for Chile as James Rodriguez has had for Colombia.

 Eduardo VargasJames Rodriguez
Games44
Goals15
Shots Taken414
Shots Per Goal42.8
Assists22
Key Passes Per Game0.82.0
Dribbles Per Game0.52.5

 

Vargas Positives

Vargas is pacey, excels at getting into the penalty box, is a threat on the counter-attack and can poach goals.

Rising high to meet Valencia attacking midfielder Daniel Parejo's corner, Vargas headed the ball past Getafe goalkeeper Jordi Codina.

Latching on to Valencia attacking midfielder Sofiane Feghouli's lobbed through ball, Vargas slashed his way past Almeria centre-backs Angel Trujillo and Marco Torsiglieri, to score.

Accelerating past Real Betis right-back Juanfran, Vargas controlled the ball with his chest before striking it on the half-volley past Betis goalkeeper Antonio Adan.

 

Vargas Negatives

In Vargas' last three combined European seasons, he scored three goals in league play.

All 19 of Vargas' appearances for Napoli were as a substitute, which is why he sought a detour to play in Brazil with Gremio.

Last season, on loan at Valencia, he went through long stretches of games without making a meaningful impact.

Vargas' shooting accuracy was below average (44 percent, per Squawka.com), and he was an inefficient scorer—registering just three goals from 28 shots.

 

Bottom Line

Tottenham Hotspur are pushing to sign Remy, per the Metro, so Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger risks losing out on another transfer target if he does not make a move now. 

What about Vargas? 

Napoli are open to letting him go, per Football Italia, so he could be another project Wenger takes up. 

However, Vargas being a transfer bust in Europe is a major red flag.

His career is imitating compatriot Jorge Valdivia: talented enough to play for an elite European club, but lacking the intangibles to thrive there.

 

@allanjianga

Statistics via WhoScored.com

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