As news broke earlier of a rumoured £48m bid accepted by Real Madrid, it appeared as if Arsenal had made their choice – Karim Benzema over Edinson Cavani. And as much as he would also be suitable for the marquee striker which the Gunners crave, Cavani would appear to be the more economic and effective option. Cavani would, according to reports, cost £13m less than his French counterpart – which is significant when you account for the improvements Arsenal may be able to make to bolster their all-round squad. A £13m excess could well be the difference between a good centre-back or midfielder, and a world class one, and although Arsenal fans crave a marquee player, there is no need to splash extra cash for the sake of it.
Interestingly, the French striker has a far worse goals to games ratio than his Uruguayan counterpart. Benzema has scored 190 goals in 414 career appearances, which is just shy of a goal every second game at 0.46 goals per game, while Cavani has 197 in 353 appearances at 0.56 goals per game – just over one every two matches. The Gunners clearly could use with a prolific and consistent forward, and by comparison their French forward Olivier Giroud has a ratio of 0.43 goals per game. Benzema could however point to his assist record, as he has an impressive 112 assists in his career at 0.27, and Cavani only has 45 at 0.13.
Finally, Cavani could provide a more useful utility player than Benzema or Giroud could. Despite his assists record not being as shiny as the Frenchman’s, Cavani can – and frequently does – play anywhere across the forward line. Arsene Wenger does like his players flexible and that would be a huge attraction in favour of the Uruguayan forward. Benzema can play in a multitude of roles too however they are fairly limited – he can only really play just behind the striker or out on the right flank if not the main forward himself.
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