Cavani or Muller to Man Utd – who the stats show would make the best signing.
Manchester United look set to prioritise the signing of Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani in a £60m deal this summer after reportedly learning that they won’t be able to sign £50m Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller, according to the Daily Star.
With Radamel Falcao not extending his loan at Old Trafford after some poor form last season, and with reports from Sky Sports yesterday claiming that Robin van Persie is close to leaving the club for a move to Fenerbahce, it’s clear that Louis van Gaal will need to strenghten up front this summer.
Memphis Depay can play as a striker, but was more often used as a winger at PSV, so it seems unlikely that he will immediately become first choice to lead the line for the Red Devils, particularly with the Star’s suggestion that Cavani is now a priority target for the club.
Although sometimes seen as a player who misses easy chances and who goes missing in the big games, the Uruguayan international has a record envied by many across Europe, with some superb scoring stats in the last few seasons, and that’s while not even always playing in his preferred position at the Parc des Princes.
Last season, Cavani only played 23 times as a striker, scoring 12 goals in those games (according to stats on WhoScored.com), but still managed to find the back of the net regularly enough when used out wide, scoring 10 in 18 when playing on the left flank, and one in only three appearances on the right-hand side.
In total, that saw Cavani finish with 31 goals in all competitions for the French champions. Muller, meanwhile, netted just 21 in all competitions for Bayern, though he did manage 13 assists in comparison to Cavani’s one.
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Still, is that the kind of player United really need right now? With the club lacking a true goal threat since Van Persie’s 26 league goals fired them to the title in 2012/13, it seems an out-and-out striker in the Cavani mould is what is really needed, and the experienced 28-year-old has been consistently firing them in for almost his whole career. Most impressively, when used as a striker in every game, the prolific South American managed 104 goals in 138 appearances over three seasons with Napoli. With 160 goals in the last five years, he averages 32 a season – a player who would surely benefit hugely from the presence of creative players like Angel Di Maria, Juan Mata and soon Bastian Schweinsteiger (via BBC Sport) in the United side.
Away from goals, Cavani also beats his German counterpart for pass success, with an average completion rate of 81.7% last season compared to Muller’s 72.8% (again via WhoScored.com). Given Van Gaal’s preference for a passing game and lots of possession, this suggests the South American target man could be the perfect player to lead the line at Old Trafford next season.