Arsenal

Danny Welbeck or Edinson Cavani: Who Is Better Transfer Move for Arsenal?

Manchester United's Danny Welbeck celebrates after scoring against the Los Angeles Galaxy during the first half of a friendly soccer match at Rose Bowl on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo)
Uncredited/Associated Press
Charlie MelmanCorrespondent IIAugust 28, 2014

Arsenal are in desperate need of a striker—even a rational Arsene Wenger cannot deny that.

The manager might publicly declare that he needs to get "creative" with his transfers following high-profile injuries, but any failure to address the gaping hole that Olivier Giroud's injury leaves in the Gunners' attack is ultimately down to Wenger not wanting to unsettle his current crop of starters.

The problem, however, is that Arsenal play immeasurably better when there is a large target man leading the line.

It's no surprise either, because that is how single-striker formations are meant to work. The lone man up top is a focal point by default; putting a smaller man in that role disintegrates the attack and destabilizes the team.

That is why Arsenal have fared poorly when Lukas Podolski or Theo Walcott have been the only central strikers in the team. The former is a lethal goal poacher and the latter can terrorize center-backs with his speed, but both have largely been unsuccessful.

Neither can hold the ball up, preventing the midfielders and wingers from playing off the main man. Thus, the team is robbed of its attacking flow.

Like him or loathe him, Giroud provides that unique element. Yaya Sanogo has never scored in an official game for Arsenal and thus cannot be considered an adequate replacement for a team that wants to win the title.

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 07:  Edinson Cavani of PSG reacts to a missed chance on goal during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and Stade Rennais FC at Parc des Princes on May 7, 2014 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

So Arsenal will have to dip into the transfer market. And unfortunately the pickings are quite slim in the striking department right now.

Their options include Loic Remy, Samuel Eto'o and even Radamel Falcao. But each has his own inherent disadvantages and is not likely on his way to the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger's two best options are not ideal, but are the best available: Danny Welbeck and Edinson Cavani.

There is no question who the better player is. Welbeck has never managed to fully break into the starting XI at Manchester United and was eclipsed by Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez, et. al.

He is a very hard worker and never runs out of energy. That is a commendable quality in any player, and every team needs players like that. The problem is that Arsenal do not need a Welbeck-type at the moment.

They need a direct replacement for Giroud to fill in during his three-month-long absence: a big man who can hold up the ball and, most importantly, can finish his chances.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: Arsene Wenger, manager of Arsenal looks on before the UEFA Champions League Qualifier 2nd leg match between Arsenal and Besiktas at the Emirates Stadium on August 27, 2014 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Ideally, Arsenal would use this opportunity to improve in a position that they need to work on. Cavani would certainly be an upgrade.

He is the complete striker: big enough to lead a line by himself and possessive of tremendous technical quality and a precise finishing touch.

Cavani is everything the Gunners need right now (and, frankly, what they have been crying out for for years). The money Paris Saint-Germain will demand, however, presents a nearly insurmountable barrier.

Unless some unforeseen circumstance occurs, PSG will demand a princely sum for the only competition for Zlatan Ibrahimovic they have. And if Arsenal were not willing to pay earlier this summer, they will not do so now.

Arsenal would do better to splash the cash on the player they really need, but let's be honest: Wenger is not going to do it.

Therefore, Welbeck is much better for Arsenal's bank account, allowing them to fund future transfers—a needed center-back for example. 

But in the end, Wenger is most likely to simply get "creative."

 

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