If the Devil had offered me the signature of either Edinson Cavani or Marco Reus for Arsenal in exchange for my soul back in 2013, I would have become a soul-less bastard in a heart-beat. Things have changed since then as Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez have been purchased from Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively but that doesn’t mean the Uruguayan striker and the German winger have lost their appeal.
The Uruguayan has been one of the best goal scorers in Europe for awhile and some of his goals would even make Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp proud. That’s why the oil-rich PSG signed him in the first place. But there is a problem when you play for the French giants – as long as Zlatan Ibrahimović is there, the best you can hope for is to play second fiddle to the Swedish genius.
Cavani has been a shadow of himself. It’s not down to goals – 40 in 71 appearances (0.56 per game) is an excellent return for a striker that has often been deployed as a right winger as well. Cavani has been fined and dropped for returning late from the winter break alongside the Argentinian Ezequiel Lavezzi who was Cavani’s team-mate in Napoli too.
All this added fuel to the fire and rumours about Cavani’s departure have remained alive. Arsenal are mentioned among the alleged suitors and it even forced Arsene Wenger to laugh at the rumour that we would sign Cavani for £62 million. Then again, we have sent Lukas Podolski and Yaya Sanogo on loan in this transfer window while Joel Campbell’s future at Arsenal is in major doubt as well. That might seem like Wenger’s attempt to clear up some space for a new striker to join the current forces. Cavani can be deployed as either a striker or a winger and his ability to score proves Wenger’s thesis about South-American strikers being the best in modern football.
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PSG might be tempted to sell the Uruguayan for £62 million though to raise funds to buy a new toy, like all oil-rich clubs tend to do. Rumours about the departure of Gareth Bale from Real Madrid refuses to die and there are very few clubs in the world that have money to sign the Welshman. PSG are one of them. One of the best players in the Premiership Eden Hazard has been on the wish-list of the Parisian club for a while as well. And, let’s not forget that PSG had wanted to sign Mesut Özil before Wenger lured him from Real Madrid to North London. Perhaps a swap deal might be on the cards next summer?
The German winger has been one of the most exciting players in the world. However, when he looks back at 2014 he won’t have too many reasons to smile. Borussia Dortmund were out of the race for the Bundesliga title in March and Real Madrid knocked them out of the Champions’ League in the quarterfinals despite Reus’ heroic performance in the second leg where he was close to single handily completing a come-back from a three goal deficit. Then, Borussia lost the final of DFB Pokal against Bayern (0:2) after Mats Hummels’ goal was disallowed at 0:0.
Like that wasn’t enough, injuries have plagued Reus like he has already signed for Arsenal so he was forced to miss the World Cup in Brazil. If there isn’t something called “The Reus’ variation of Murphy’s law”, it’s self explanatory. The string of bad luck hasn’t stopped yet – Reus has spent a lot of time on the sidelines this term as well while his club Borussia Dortmund are currently in the relegation zone in Bundesliga.
The German is a special player, capable of scoring and creating goals from every position in attack. He’s so good that several Bayern München players had openly stated their discontent when Reus joined Borussia instead of Bayern in 2012. The German winger apparently has a minimum fee release clause that makes him available for £20 million which is peanuts for a player of his quality. Given that Reus has openly stated that he would never play for Bayern, that leaves an open space for other suitors.
Arsenal have a lot to offer the German superstar – talented team-mates like Alexis, Özil, Ramsey, Cazorla, Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott, Chamberlain, a manager that helps players to fulfill their talent and consistency of Champions’ League football. Of course, usual suspects like both Manchester clubs, Chelsea, PSG and Real Madrid will also try to sign the German. There are unconfirmed reports that the Spanish giants have already secured the transfer of Reus for the summer 2015. It’s very likely that Arsenal wouldn’t be able to match their wage offers but Reus has already proven that money doesn’t mean everything to him when he left Borussia Mönchengladbach for Borussia Dortmund and not for Bayern. Reus, a child of Dortmund and Borussia, listened to his heart. Perhaps he would listen to his mind and go for Arsenal instead of any other aforementioned club in order to become a new Robert Pires to Alexis’ Thierry Henry?
Conclusion: it’s very, very unlikely that either Reus or Cavani would move in the January transfer window. Both Borussia and PSG are still alive in the Champions League and it would be very difficult to find a replacement eligible to play in the competition during the last week of the transfer window. The summer, however, is a totally different story. Both teams might be ready to sell – especially Borussia if they fail to qualify for the Champions’ League.
It’s true that most Gooners world-wide want defensive reinforcements for Arsenal – a central defender and a defensive midfielder – but when an opportunity arises to sign a top-drawer player like Reus or Cavani, you don’t want to miss it. We are underdogs in the race for both players but then again, who knew Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez would end up at the Emirates 18 months ago?