Theo signs. So what of Edinson Cavani?

By Tony Attwood

Theo has signed as Mr Wenger said he would, and the noisy anti-Arsenal groupings are protesting, following the lead given them by the national press.

But meanwhile what of the Uruguayan, Edinson Cavani, the name mentioned more than most in recent days as a possible transfer.

He played for Montevideo from the age of 12, moving up through the youth teams before getting to the first team seven years ago.

After that it was Palermo, and the start of some amazing goals that on one or two occasions remind a little Van Basten.   In April 2010, he signed a four year contract with the club.  But within three months he signed a five year deal with Napoli in a complex loan and option arrangement.   The next contract was designed to keep him with Napoli until 2016.

This season he has carried on doing what he always does – scoring goals, including four in one match in November in the Europa League.

He is overtly Christian being a member of the Evangelical wing of the church and is married.    He has played first team international football for Uruguay since early 2008.

Overall he has played over 300 first team games and scored over 150 goals – which is a fairly handy average to have.

But the question comes back to the headline.  Today it is confirmed that Theo has signed a deal.   Do we need Cavani as well?

It seems to me that our problem at the moment is the lack of the final goal to turn draws into victories – so having yet another striking option would seem a good idea.  But can we accommodate the two centre forwards we have plus a third, all of whom would expect to be playing down the middle in every game?

Meanwhile it has been delightful in recent days to see the press follow the Untold lead not just in refereeing issues, but also noting that Jack Wilshere is mixing his midfield work with a relish for being a perfect number 10.  Put Jack in the mix with one of our strikers or Cavani, and that is a fairly awesome combination.

Ultimately up front the desire must always be to have another Henry, Pires and Bergkamp.  Are we close to having such a trio?

Henry became a centre forward aged 23, exactly as Theo has done, and Henry took another season to adjust to his new role.  Pires learned to play an alternating role with Henry (moving into the centre when Henry went for a wander down the wing) later in his life – aged about 26 I seem to remember.   If we have someone who can do this in the different formation we play today it presumably is Podolski.

Bergkamp lost his way in Italy and was jeered and booed at every turn, but eventually returned to genius with Mr Wenger to guide him.   There’s no comparison of age there, with Jack emerging as a real number 10 at a very early age, but the comparison of styles is just starting to be seen.  And as I say for once, having beaten the press to commentary on the issue, they are all tagging along behind.

Which doesn’t get me any closer to the question of whether we need Cavani or not, but I am suspicious that we probably don’t and that he was only on the skyline because Theo might ultimately not sign.

I suspect there will be some signings in the last week of the transfer month, but I rather think they will not be in terms of an out and out centre forward.


The books…

The sites…




46 Replies to “Theo signs. So what of Edinson Cavani?”

  1. One distinguishing characteristic of recent Napoli teams has been their tactical approach — primarily the use of wing-backs and a strong preference for the counter-attack over possession football. In this respect, it seems to me that Cavani’s success has come from a game that is more like Theo’s (if not as reliant on raw pace), whereas Giroud and Santi do more for build-up play. Although squad rotation is obviously a touchy subject, I could see Cavani bringing a different set of skills to the front line when needed.

  2. Well, my two pence worth. Theo’s signed so he’s back on the wing for the foreseeable future.

  3. Cavani and Lopez are just a smokescreen and we are going to blow the budget and get Falcao! I know, I’m dreaming.
    We need a striker who is a game winner, someone like Thierry or Falcao. I think Theo could potentially become that but it’s hard to tell if he will as he is too inconsistent at the moment. Still, good news if he signed.

  4. Forget Cavani. But there are other strikers out there. Lisandro Lopez from Lyon is apparently up for sale. I would like it very much if he came to Arsenal. Although I have to admit it’s been a while since I’ve seen him play. A few years ago though, I counted him as one of the best forwards in the world. He’s almost 30 now, but if the rumour about Villa had any truth in it, we’re on the lookout for an older striker. Which would make sense, considering we have Giroud 26, Walcott 23, and the likes of Joel Campbell, Afobe and Akpom coming through the ranks, plus Podolski and even Gervinho who can play there.

    As for Theo, good bit of business. The reports of 100k a week seem to include the signing on bonus, and without that he would apparently be on around 85k a week, which seems fair all round.

  5. I also expect a late signing or two, but alas, not cavani. Guess that will give some a chance to have a moan! To quote a Gooner I follow regularly on twitter “there are some people so hell bent on being anti whatever the club do, that actually forgot what support means any more”. Source Darrenarsenal1 twitter. Never heard a better description of what some would term the AAA.

  6. ADAM, Cynical, Funny and wouldnt suprise me. I question though, Do we need another Striker? Do we not need support for Gibbs and Szercesny. maybe another CB to challenge PM, Koz and the Verminator.

  7. Well if there after an older forward, I’d make myself available for £30k a week, throw in a free massage as well and im good to go.

  8. Cavani was pure invention. 1. The player is under long term contract 2. Napoli are going for Italian league so why on earth would they sell him. 3 and if they agreed it wud only be at 3x value …think Torres to Chelsea……only 2 clubs pay that kind of money and we know who they are

  9. cavani to arsenal is complete kak. wenger is fueling the flames by talking about cavani but has no intention of signing him or any other true world class player.

    I’d dance naked outside buckingham palace if cavani decided to join us !

  10. @Adam LoL. Alright then we expect you at London Colney next week for a trial with our coaches. Don’t forget to bring your boots!

  11. now that wenger has confessed to having a ridiculous socialist wage scale, theo’s deal must mean it’s party time for all the other players too. If wenger is to keep to his word and keeps his socialist wage scale then arsenal will be bankrupt in a few months when all of our squad demand the same…

  12. Cavani is off the table as Napoli want £52m for him plus his wage which would royally mess us up, £45m was turned down from Mancity earlier on and i just dont see Wenger paying £50m+ for one player…….dont get me wrong i LOVE cavani and would love him at our beloved club but i just can’t see Wenger wanting to pay THAT much for one player…….do i dare to say that if anyone it would be Benzema. Real wants Falcao and Wenger has been after Benzema for ages and he is just as deadly as Falcao and Cavani but is not so hyped and is more under the radar but he is no less fantastic. I have heard that Benzema doesnt really want to leave Madrid BUT will not accept a bench roll which he will be reduced to if he is usurped by a new striker and he said he likes the idea of working under Wenger and Wenger mutually wants him, so i think if anyone this would be our guy!!

  13. Strictly speaking, and as far as wages are concerned, the final year of contract does not really matter because a player either signs a new contract before he enters it or he is sold (Theo narrowly escaped this, probably due to his verbal commitment).
    So, technically speaking, when you sign a three-and-half-year contract, it’s two and a half years of playing time. Similarly, a four-year contract equals three years of playing time.
    By signing a three-and-a-half-year 90K/week deal now, it’s effectively two and a half years of playing time = 90,000 (wage) X 52 (weeks in one year) X 2.5 (years) = 11,700,000.
    If he had signed a four-year 75K/week deal last summer, he would effectively have had three years of playing time = 75,000 (wage) X 52 (weeks in one year) X 3 (years) = 11,700,000.
    THE RESULT IS THE SAME!!! The only difference is that AFC were still paying him 60K/week for six months = 60,000 (wage) X 52 (weeks in one year) X 0.5 (years) = 1,560,000.
    Assuming other factors (such as sign-on bonuses etc) remain the same, AFC only had to spend 1,560,000 extra.

  14. Every team needs a Cavani – he’s a special player. Having said that, we didn’t inquire, he’s not for sale anyway and if he were, it would be for £50-60 million plus. This was just something the papers invented.
    I didn’t think Theo would sign because his reasons for not signing seemed spurious. However, it’s finally done, and I’m delighted and don’t care about the hedging. Now we can have some stability. It’s cost us big-time but on balance it was worth it.

    For those who are worried, I am informed that his contract is protected for three years from the day he signs, ie until January 2016, so we won’t have to renegotiate in 18 months.

    @ Adam
    January 18, 2013 at 6:41 pm
    ha ha!

  15. HomeGrownGooner, that remind me of a player who having been released by his team refuses to sign because he wanted 20k/week more. When he signed six months later, somebody told him that his six months off had cost him more than the extra money he got. He was training with them anyway, so it is not like he was on holiday for six months.
    A lot of time footballers see the headline number not realising that overall they may receive less.

    Mind you the same thing happen to Arsenal. Look at Arsenal’s situation. Arsenal were requesting a fee for Denilson that Brazilian teams were not prepared to pay. It was either the fee or a big drop in Denilson wage. The result is that we have not received a fee, but we would just be better off with him off our books with a percentage of any resale amount.

    Regarding Cavani, the question is could he prosper in an environment where his team does not play a counter-attacking game? Anyway it is a mute question, as we cannot afford him and Arsene Wenger he already debunked that rumour.

  16. Article 17 of FIFA’s Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players has a section on “Consequences of Terminating a Contract Without Just Cause”. It states that any player who signed a contract before the age of 28 can buy himself out of the contract three years after the deal was signed. If he is 28 or older the time limit is shortened to two years.

    Theo will not be 28 when his contract expires, this maybe why the duration is what it is, so he can sign another before the age of 28, This is planning ahead. Theo will be 24 in March this contract will run out when he is 27, if he signs with us again the protected period will take him up to the age of 30.

    Hope this makes sense.

    The protected period of a contract is 3 years for under 28s and 2 years for over 28s from the time of signing. Outside of the protected period a player can walk away from his contract (with just cause)but may face penalties imposed by the board of arbitration (if no just cause is evident). What a player has to weigh up is; Is the compensation package you would have to pay worth invoking the Webster ruling, will you earn more so much more at another club? And is the court case worth it?

    Again I hope this makes sense.

  17. @Gord, im not an anorak, but there are more rules and regulations behind the game than there is for the game itself. And anyway its something i looked in to with regards to RVP, Can anyone remember the date of his (RVPs)infamous press release?

  18. Do you remember you were labeling as AAA anyone who said Theo signed just few days back?!

  19. So with Wenger openly talking about Cavani and Zaha it’s obvious that there will be no attempt to sign either. This is one of Wenger’s party pieces, the plan is openly declare an interest in the hope that the parent club will state ‘No Chance’ or someone else will come in and buy them. He will then lie and say well we were in for these players but we couldn’t pull it off. Wenger’s not even original, he comes out with the same Bull in every window. How long before Walcott and Diaby are like new signings, isn’t Wilshere like a new signing. What amazes me whenever he does it idiots like the Four Forum Fools fall for it. Wenger has no intention to buy anyone, he never did.

  20. It didn’t stop Wenger spending £200 million on dross. If money is so tight why would you pay £16 million for Arshavin, pay him £90,000 per week, then play him out of position which destroyed his morale to such an extent he can’t even get on the bench. Why pay more for Santos tan it would have cost to buy Enrique. Why spend £8 million on Squillaci when Kompany could previously have been bought for £7 million. Why not buy Gary Cahill instead of the useless Koscielny. The list goes on, £200 million on the wrong players who are all overpaid. There is only one answer. Bad management.

  21. Walcott signing is good news for the club, we need consistency and continuity in the squad. We have had too many changes since Cesc left and Walcott staying is a signal that stability is returning.

    I am not sure about Cavani – I don’t think it will happen, but it will be interesting to see who Wenger tries to bring in.

  22. The Glazers own a PLC, Arsenal is not a PLC. The Articles of Association have to be changed because they determine voting rights. The current BofD would have to be dissolved and a new one appointed, it hasn’t been. Kroenke is very much playing a passive role. He cannot make arbitrary decisions, he doesn’t understand enough about the game and he knows that.

  23.  Anyone notice what a difference it makes to the midfield when you have a ball winning midfielder in there? The guys name was Coquelin, last night. If Wenger doesn’t trust him to be the main man in there every week, go and buy yourself one. That energy and industry was severely lacking in the middle and Cazorla and Jack did much of their work in the final third. At times Cazorla came inside and swapped with Jack and although that can be a good thing, I’d prefer if we got an out and out winger there.

  24. The Cavani rumour started on twitter I think.
    Someone rather reliable said something about a big offer from Arsenal for a player. No names were mentioned. .No sum was mentioned. I have seen the tweet that was later removed I think

    I think the media also read it and went looking. Which player could cost lots of money. And so they ended up with Cavani.

    And I think Wenger loved the idea and started going along a bit with the rumours.

    Meanwhile I could imagine Arsenal talking in some other country with another team and looking for another player that nobody expects. Or that the media didn’t guess.

  25. Arsenal board are getting greedy and non caring ,so it is time for them to sell their shares to Osmanov and let the club to the supporters .Selling RVP to MUtd waswas the last point of disrespects to the supporters

  26. great news i must say.and the right choice for all concerned.

    not sure why cavani being Evangelical is relevant though, regardless i think justjoy summed it all up nicely. thanks for the chuckle.

    cant say im happy with a lot of decisions (gambles) the manager has made up till now but we can still make third and are in two comps with new money and the summer to complete this new set up or at least get close. so would i prefer two signings in jan? absolutely. a top striker and a dm. will i be mad if we dont? a little but judgment is reserved till the new season.

    id rather the team cut out the rookie mistakes and give 100% at all times than sign cavani.

  27. Tony,
    You were mute on Theo when all the negotiations were going on and would not advocate that he be signed. Now it’s AW has delivered Theo as he said he would. Your carefulness about not getting ahead of what AFC does, and then applauding after the fact is really classic, imho.

    You say: “But can we accommodate the two centre forwards we have plus a third, all of whom would expect to be playing down the middle in every game?” Well, as for too many strikers, they’re not good enough and playing with two up front – that is at least a Plan B – and competing on 3-4 fronts, plus injuries, requires quality depth. Why are you husbanding the money for them? The reality of what exists up front right now? Well you yourself say it: “It seems to me that our problem at the moment is the lack of the final goal to turn draws into victories – so having yet another striking option would seem a good idea.” Indeed, the problem is lack of clinicality – these top euro-signings have not yet displayed the killer instinct or clinical touch that I do not, imo, think comes down to not being used to the EPL yet. At least you don’t value Gervinho. And if you don’t value him, why act as if the new signings are any more than good, rather than good enough. They’re not. A top striker would be the difference maker we need, and the money is there, is coming via the TV deal, and, if we spend right, via another 4th place finish.

  28. @Adam

    You caught me off guard. “You aren’t an anorak”. Wikipedia has an article Anorak_(slang) which has:
    > In British slang an anorak is a person who has a very strong interest, perhaps obsessive, in niche subjects.

    I was thinking, did Adam mean he wasn’t an almanac? But that doesn’t make enough sense to be possible either. Being an Autistic, there are lots of topics people would say I was an anorak to. But more often I would hear the term “geek”, or someone saying I was anal retentive about “whatever subject”.

    You might want to go visit:

    The article not about slang. That was the only definition of anorak that I had ever heard before today.

    I am sure glad you are not a heavyweight parka meant for very cold weather. 🙂

    Different cultures. And not even yogurt.

    Good timing. I had shipping problems with some goods. They were going to return them on Monday if I didn’t pick them up. Making a response to anorak fixed the _mean_ I had building up inside me.

  29. Offtopic: Players getting hurt (Diaby in particular).

    The Express/Matthew Dunn has an article out
    And I don’t know if Dunn is mocking or not, but we have:
    > The 6ft 4ins midfielder was chasing down the touchline with 5ft 6ins Andy Griffin. The Stoke captain pulled his leg back to launch his challenge. Diaby leapt in the air. The challenge never came. The ball ran into touch for a Stoke throw-in. The Britannia erupted in mocking jeers.

    Diaby (or any player) cannot take the chance that someone is not intending to break their leg. Many players who if they decide to leap in the air, can decide to land in many different places. Diaby didn’t choose to do it (if he is capable of this), but what would have happened, if Diaby decides to jump from a feinted attempt to injure him again, and comes down on Griffin and breaks his leg?

    Goons are a dime a dozen, and Stoke (and others) have goons. Intent to intimidate is not a foul in football. It keeps the costs down on running a team. If those teams are so concerned about costs, maybe they should get relegated? All players are allowed self-preservation.

    In a perfect world, players would not even attempt these games, but this world is not perfect. In a less than perfect world, a referee might swing by the captain and tell him in passing: “that was uncalled for, the next 10 maybes are against you”.

    I don’t watch games any more, all I get is the BBC commentary. The last few games there has been some Stoke fan moaning about action. What is it the Stoke fans are looking for, blood? Legs at strange angles? Ambulances on the pitch after long delays? If that is what you are looking for in sports, maybe you should look into kickboxing and similar martial arts. It certainly isn’t football.

  30. Abs
    Yes the board ate very greedy but why would selling to Usmanov be a solution? He has already stated he wants to take a dividend. That’s greedy too!

  31. @Twig, I don’t live that far from the training ground. With all the snow on the ground, I think i’ll take my snow shoes, or If Arsene will let me, I’d like to partake in my trial on a snow-mobile. Do you think he’d let tackle Wilshere on my snow buggy?

    @Gord, sorry to confuse, but you have opened up a whole can of worms for yourself now. Let the games begin.

  32. Gord, The confusing thing for me about the Parka wearing crews (mods) is that they use to always meet up and fight with the rockers, sometimes in Brighton which is the gay capital of England, So much testosterone within a gay capital makes you wonder as to the real motives? Especially with the rockers being (stereotypical) leather wearing motorcyclists.

  33. @Adam

    Having read the slang article at Wikipedia and understanding how much more rain England gets than here on the Canadian prairies, I can understand why people counting stuff at train stations might wear anoraks. It is amusing how a proper choice of clothing gets used to identify people with excessive habits.

    It sounds like you live in an interesting place. All we’ve had around here lately, is moose and deer. I live on a dead-end street on the outskirts of town, next to a golf course. I had one yearling moose watching me shovel snow from about 30 feet away, and a pair of moose (mother and yearling) maybe 100 feet away, eating the hedge. Snow was getting too deep in the forest for them to find food.

  34. I love you Gord.

    What you describe kinda reminds me of Slovakia. Last time I visited the inlaws we was banned from the woods as a bear got lost and made its home there for awhile, I have spotted a lynx, and been told to steer well clear of the boars with young. When im done with the UK, thats where im heading. Better education system for my boy and better health care.

  35. Fazza, We have enough people on professional contracts at the club as well as on loan, I reckon anywhere between 50/60 players on full pro contracts, Do we need more players? I’d throw Akpom in a few times to see if he can nick us the odd goal, in other words lets use what we have first then look outside the club.

  36. @Gord – re your points about Stoke.

    I was pleased to see Swansea beat Stoke today.

    Maybe the Stoke style of play is really on the way out. we can only hope.

  37. @Pat

    Teams need so many players. If you don’t play in Europe, maybe you need 20 players (I am guessing). If your budget allows for 1 good goaltender and 8 skilled players, that means you end up with 11 goons on your squad. And if you play this team when all 11 are goons, the only result, is that you will be kicked.

    Yes, it is nice to see football played by skilled players. I suppose that is the viewpoint of a neutral more than any supporter. But, to support a team because they inflict more injuries, perhaps serious injuries, doesn’t seem right. And even rugby has rules, so these blood sniffers probably need to go to fighting in a cage to find the response to their needs.

    But for Arsenal to play Swansea, neither manager expects before the game even starts, that N players will be injured in the game. To play a team filled with goons, whether you win or lose, you also need to expect injuries. So, the manager now needs to pick a team that has a good chance at winning, but is either resilient to being injured, or if players are injured there are ready replacements before they are needed again.

    I can’t imagine trying to pick a team knowing that some players will be injured, and trying to juggle who could be injured if they play, and how long they might be injured.

    For a game where the only contact is supposed to be shoulder to shoulder, having people leave with broken legs or ruptured ACL, and possibly never play again is a bit hard to swallow.

  38. Cavani is class. Would love him at Arsenal. I doubt he’s coming to Arsenal with a 55 Euro buy-out. Arsenal need 3 or 4 centre forwards so it makes sense that we are looking at another forward. Competition for places.

    If (and it’s a big if) we have made a bid of that size I would think it would be for somebody like Gotze but then again why he would leave Dortmund at this particularly time I don’t know.

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