How good is Cavani?

charlenefan

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Where does he rank right now in the PL in terms of out and out strikers/number 9's?

Is there anyone better in the league who's not named Harry Kane?
 

Eddy_JukeZ

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Probably only Kane being clearly better.

Weak year for Prem strikers. Maybe the weakest it's been in a while.
 

ROFLUTION

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It's just nice to have a REAL centerforward again. One of those who scores goals on most of the chances they get. Haven't had that for years. Even Zlatan missed a lot of big chances.
 

AgentSmith

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Kane is the only CF who’s significantly ahead of him. Jimenez would probably have been no.2 before the injury given the struggles of the other 9s but I think Cavani takes his place in the queue behind Kane.
 

charlenefan

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Kane is the only CF who’s significantly ahead of him. Jimenez would probably have been no.2 before the injury given the struggles of the other 9s but I think Cavani takes his place in the queue behind Kane.
Interesting, you really think Jimenez is better?
 

Eddy_JukeZ

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It's just nice to have a REAL centerforward again. One of those who scores goals on most of the chances they get. Haven't had that for years. Even Zlatan missed a lot of big chances.
Cavani has missed big chances too.

That said, his incredible movement helps generates those chances more often.
 

11101

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Kane - obviously
Aguero - on his retirement tour but he's still dynamite when he wants to be

He's on a similar level to Lacazette and Aubameyang in the best of the rest category. What sets him apart is his mindset to keep working and keep getting into the right positions.
 

wise_old_man

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Kane - obviously
Aguero - on his retirement tour but he's still dynamite when he wants to be

He's on a similar level to Lacazette and Aubameyang in the best of the rest category. What sets him apart is his mindset to keep working and keep getting into the right positions.
Lacazette and Aubameyang screamed mediocre to me. I look at them and I see two good players. I look at Cavani and think "If he's this good at this age, imagine what he would have given us at his prime". That's the difference.
 

11101

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Lacazette and Aubameyang screamed mediocre to me. I look at them and I see two good players. I look at Cavani and think "If he's this good at this age, imagine what he would have given us at his prime". That's the difference.
Lacazette matched Cavani's peak goal return in France playing for a far inferior team and his Arsenal career is also pretty evenly matched to Cavani's season with us.
Aubameyang was electric at Dortmund and even without his pace his worst return for Arsenal matches Cavani's only/best with us.

Cavani has been good for us but he is currently in the best form we have seen so far and that's swaying opinions. His goals per minute numbers put him 7th in the league, very slightly ahead of Lacazette. That's about right to me.
 

sugar_kane

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Cavani has missed big chances too.

That said, his incredible movement helps generates those chances more often.
He's missed some which is normal for any striker, with Zlatan it felt like one or two a game.

To answer the OP, I'd say yes when fit he's the second best in the league and even the pundits seem to recognise this (I honestly think some would put him as #1 the way they gush over him)
 

Ibrahimorich

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The man is an inspiration. You can talk about numbers all you want, and yes they are important for a striker, but his certainly aren't bad. He just gives so much more than that.
 

Bwuk

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He’s probably the second best #9 in the league behind Kane, but the likes of Liverpool, City etc don’t play with a 9.
 

harms

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In his current form he's easily the second best in the league. To be fair, City mostly plays without a number 9 these days, Liverpool plays with a false 9, Chelsea constantly rotates and often plays without a dedicated number 9, so, with Agüero on the brink of retirement, the competition isn't the best at the moment.
 

Trequarista10

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Jamie Vardy needs a mention...
 

TheReligion

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Kane - obviously
Aguero - on his retirement tour but he's still dynamite when he wants to be

He's on a similar level to Lacazette and Aubameyang in the best of the rest category. What sets him apart is his mindset to keep working and keep getting into the right positions.
Lacazette? Not sure what you're smoking but comparing him to Cavani is bizarre.
 

Cnaiür urs Skiötha

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This guy is top quality. I have not really followed his career too closely, but whenever I saw him in a CL game or a tournament he looked like one of the best natural strikers who ever played the game.
Tbh I thought it was a stupid idea to bring him to the PL at the end of his career, but boy has the man proven me and a lot of others wrong.
His whole movement and anticipation of the ball and the players around him is top notch.
I realized a few times where he made a few steps back to the middle to not be offside and started a perfect run a second later. Also his lay offs and one twos are most of the time accurate. Talk about an intelligent striker.
And his finishing moves are excellent, I think each of his goals for us has been at least a good one, some have been stunners.
It’s a shame we did not go for him some years before, he would have been the perfect successor of RvP.
 

Invictus

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If we consider recent-ish performances and short-term ability in isolation...
  • 1. Harry Kane: quite a ways ahead of the rest as he is close to the peak of his powers while boasting a wonderful combination of goal-scoring ability, hold-up play, creativity, et cetera. The only elite striker in the league as of right now, in my opinion.
  • 2, by default. Edinson Cavani: we're likely witnessing the last stages of the wily fox's career at the highest level; not as awesome as he used to be, but still pretty good (especially of late as he is delivering the goods on a game-to-game basis).
  • 3. I'm not sure, probably one of Calvert-Lewin, Bamford or Lacazette? Most of the candidates haven't made an outstanding case for themselves, in all honesty; methuselah Vardy seems to have finally fallen off a cliff, and while Jiménez is the most well-rounded center forward after the Top 2 — there's no telling what level he will perform at upon returning to the first team fold.
If we consider the entirety of their respective careers...
  • 1a. Sergio Agüero: at a minimum, the 3rd greatest striker in Premier League history — and you could even formulate a non-histrionic argument to include him in the Top 2 as his skillset, statistical record and list of accomplishments is very impressive; made an early splash at Atlético, did reasonably well with the national team, one of the few City players to give a somewhat appropriate account of himself in the Champions League when they were up-and-comers.
  • 1b. Edinson Cavani: did remarkably well just about everywhere he went in club football; instinctive, adaptable and pragmatic...which enabled him to operate as a lone striker or in tandem with all sorts of forwards (in terms of playing style and personality): Lavezzi, Ibrahimović, Forlán, Suárez, Mbappé and so forth, arguably the most effective hustler and off-the-ball worker from this bunch, eked out a noteworthy legacy with Uruguay when lesser mortals could/would have suffered quite significantly.
  • 2. Harry Kane: decidedly below the previous generation of Suárez, Benzema, Lewandowski, Cavani, Agüero at this moment in time; but, he probably still has half-a-decade worth of good performances left in him, so he should have the chance to climb further up the ladder — particularly from a collective standpoint if he joins a more competitive club and continues to lead the charge for England.
 

meamth

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Is first time shots a dying art?

Watching this made me realize how incapable our forwards (besides Cavani) to take first time finishing shots.

Even Greenwood who hit the ball purely seems to take extra touch to set himself up. Martial, Rashford, Bruno all poor taking first time shots this season, and that has cost us a lot of points.

Cavani is just too good in this clip.
 

tomaldinho1

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People just pretending Bamford doesn't play CF or something? Guys got 17 goals and 7 assists in a newly promoted team.

I think if you asked this question outside of a United forum you'd get a lot of names coming before him in the PL - if you'd asked it 5 year ago he'd be near the top.
 

justsomebloke

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Lacazette matched Cavani's peak goal return in France playing for a far inferior team and his Arsenal career is also pretty evenly matched to Cavani's season with us.
Aubameyang was electric at Dortmund and even without his pace his worst return for Arsenal matches Cavani's only/best with us.

Cavani has been good for us but he is currently in the best form we have seen so far and that's swaying opinions. His goals per minute numbers put him 7th in the league, very slightly ahead of Lacazette. That's about right to me.
And so far everyone prefers to just ignore that and carry on with the discussion. :)

But I think you have an interesting point. I've not looked really thoroughly at the stats but I've looked some, and that's really somewhat sobering compared to what you'd think on an eye-test basis. Not that I'm arguing he's not very good and it may be that there are some clutch and also indirect benefits the stats won't really catch, but maybe the stats are nevertheless useful for some perspective.

Perhaps most interestingly on the negative side, neither our xG or our actual scoring in the PL was any significantly different with him on the pitch than they were when he was not on the pitch.

Southampton's xG with Danny Ings on the pitch was 0.51 higher than without him. For Lacazette it was 0.28. For Cavani, 0,04. Vardy even worse though at minus 0.20.

For actual goals scored, S'hampton were 0.72 better with Ings than without him, Leicester 0.38 with Vardy and Arsenal 0.21 with Lacazette. We were minus 0,07 with Cavani on the pitch compared to when he wasn't.

He does hold up well in a lot of other categories though.
 
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Bastian

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Lacazette matched Cavani's peak goal return in France playing for a far inferior team and his Arsenal career is also pretty evenly matched to Cavani's season with us.
Aubameyang was electric at Dortmund and even without his pace his worst return for Arsenal matches Cavani's only/best with us.

Cavani has been good for us but he is currently in the best form we have seen so far and that's swaying opinions. His goals per minute numbers put him 7th in the league, very slightly ahead of Lacazette. That's about right to me.
And outside his goal return, what he does for the team is invaluable - which you already noted, but that demonstrates that he's quite clearly a much better player.
 

georgipep

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Lacazette matched Cavani's peak goal return in France playing for a far inferior team and his Arsenal career is also pretty evenly matched to Cavani's season with us.
Aubameyang was electric at Dortmund and even without his pace his worst return for Arsenal matches Cavani's only/best with us.

Cavani has been good for us but he is currently in the best form we have seen so far and that's swaying opinions. His goals per minute numbers put him 7th in the league, very slightly ahead of Lacazette. That's about right to me.
Check minutes played for all 3 though.


Cavani has played the least 90s, scored the most goals per 90, has the highest xG, by gar the highest non-penalty xG and is the oldest of the three.
 

shamans

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Just want to see Scholes hit a volley.
Sure have, but percentage-wise, I'm pretty sure Zlatan missed more.
Zlatans time here was incredibly overrated. He cost us a crap ton of games and I think his stats did not tell the whole story. Cavani has been the complete opposite. He's been a team player first and foremost and took his chances each time. Cavani just changes the way we play.
 

11101

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Check minutes played for all 3 though.


Cavani has played the least 90s, scored the most goals per 90, has the highest xG, by gar the highest non-penalty xG and is the oldest of the three.
0.65 v 0.61 is hardly a huge difference in goalscoring and Aubameyang has been atrocious this season.

The point is, being in a comparison with Lacazette and a nearly finished Aubameyang is not where we want our best striker to be. Talking about him as one of the best strikers in the league belies that. He's a capable backup but we need somebody else to lead the line for us.
 

georgipep

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0.65 v 0.61 is hardly a huge difference in goalscoring and Aubameyang has been atrocious this season.

The point is, being in a comparison with Lacazette and a nearly finished Aubameyang is not where we want our best striker to be. Talking about him as one of the best strikers in the league belies that. He's a capable backup but we need somebody else to lead the line for us.
What are you on about? 0.65 is not good? Do you know the stats for Kane, for example?


And now take into consideration that Cavani is 33, was injured and banned during this season. He was also bought to be our Plan B striker but due to Martial being incredibly poor and then injured, he had to play main striker, rotating with Greenwood and sometimes Rashford.

If that is not a great performance, I don't know what is.

EDIT: These do not include cups, it is Premier League only.
 

tomaldinho1

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And so far everyone prefers to just ignore that and carry on with the discussion. :)

But I think you have an interesting point. I've not looked really thoroughly at the stats but I've looked some, and that's really somewhat sobering compared to what you'd think on an eye-test basis. Not that I'm arguing he's not very good and it may be that there are some clutch and also indirect benefits the stats won't really catch, but maybe the stats are nevertheless useful for some perspective.

Perhaps most interestingly on the negative side, neither our xG or our actual scoring in the PL was any significantly different with him on the pitch than they were when he was not on the pitch.

Southampton's xG with Danny Ings on the pitch was 0.51 higher than without him. For Lacazette it was 0.28. For Cavani, 0,04. Vardy even worse though at minus 0.20.

For actual goals scored, S'hampton were 0.72 better with Ings than without him, Leicester 0.38 with Vardy and Arsenal 0.21 with Lacazette. We were minus 0,07 with Cavani on the pitch compared to when he wasn't.


He does hold up well in a lot of other categories though.
This actually is a really interesting way to look at a striker's involvement.

Cavani's role really is to score goals, I don't think he's actually that additive to our overall goal scoring as a team (which your stats back up) which isn't a criticism because he's very much a central striker and goal scorer by nature.

Would be interesting to see xG for Firmino and Jesus who are widely seen as being there more for overall play than goal-scoring and also our own side lined Martial.
 

11101

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What are you on about? 0.65 is not good? Do you know the stats for Kane, for example?


And now take into consideration that Cavani is 33, was injured and banned during this season. He was also bought to be our Plan B striker but due to Martial being incredibly poor and then injured, he had to play main striker, rotating with Greenwood and sometimes Rashford.

If that is not a great performance, I don't know what is.

EDIT: These do not include cups, it is Premier League only.
And Gareth Bale scored over a goal every 90 minutes. It's a totally different thing to play every game and lead the line vs being used as an impact sub, as both he and Cavani were. Look at the consistency of goalscoring for a player like Kane, his goals won them points they wouldn't have otherwise got on 12 occasions last season. A lot of Cavani's goals have come in games we were already winning, i think only 2 didn't.

Like i say, he has done well for us as a Plan B. If we go into next season with him as Plan A we will be in trouble.
 

Raveneye

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Is first time shots a dying art?

Watching this made me realize how incapable our forwards (besides Cavani) to take first time finishing shots.

Even Greenwood who hit the ball purely seems to take extra touch to set himself up. Martial, Rashford, Bruno all poor taking first time shots this season, and that has cost us a lot of points.

Cavani is just too good in this clip.
If Cavani helps push Greenwood to learn to shoot first time with either foot...
 

Raveneye

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This actually is a really interesting way to look at a striker's involvement.

Cavani's role really is to score goals, I don't think he's actually that additive to our overall goal scoring as a team (which your stats back up) which isn't a criticism because he's very much a central striker and goal scorer by nature.

Would be interesting to see xG for Firmino and Jesus who are widely seen as being there more for overall play than goal-scoring and also our own side lined Martial.
Ole's system favors a striker who can hold up play to set up the inverted wingers and the no. 10. This is why Ole persisted with Martial for so long this season: Martial has the best hold up play in the team and this makes the rest of our attack more fluid and flexible. People keep talking about how we need an out an out striker but our main issue offensively has always been our inconsistent ability to build up.

In the era when we had Beckham and Scholes, Cavani would have been more completely suited to our side. As it is, he's still so good in so many other ways that he's still worth it despite the lack of hold up play.
 

tomaldinho1

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Ole's system favors a striker who can hold up play to set up the inverted wingers and the no. 10. This is why Ole persisted with Martial for so long this season: Martial has the best hold up play in the team and this makes the rest of our attack more fluid and flexible. People keep talking about how we need an out an out striker but our main issue offensively has always been our inconsistent ability to build up.

In the era when we had Beckham and Scholes, Cavani would have been more completely suited to our side. As it is, he's still so good in so many other ways that he's still worth it despite the lack of hold up play.
I would probably agree here and I haven't given up on Martial, I think we saw a glimpse of what he could do last season but this year was a real mystery. I think football as a whole is moving away from traditional 9's now in favour of more flexibility/fluidity in a front three - just look at both CL finalists - which I would like to see us move towards and I think Greenwood would really suit as a central attacker.
 

Threesus

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I would probably agree here and I haven't given up on Martial, I think we saw a glimpse of what he could do last season but this year was a real mystery. I think football as a whole is moving away from traditional 9's now in favour of more flexibility/fluidity in a front three - just look at both CL finalists - which I would like to see us move towards and I think Greenwood would really suit as a central attacker.
I mean , shouldn’t we aim for a player like benzema or lewandowski who can do all the things martial supposedly does but also score goals?
Finding such players is easier said than done, I suppose.
 

tomaldinho1

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I mean , shouldn’t we aim for a player like benzema or lewandowski who can do all the things martial supposedly does but also score goals?
Finding such players is easier said than done, I suppose.
Goes without saying, of course.

On those two - I personally think someone like Benzema would be more beneficial for us as a team but he'd score a lot less than Lewa. I guess a modern day and realistic option would be maybe something like buying Grealish and playing him centrally with Rashford + Greenwood either side.
 

TheRedHearted

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Lacazette and Aubameyang screamed mediocre to me. I look at them and I see two good players. I look at Cavani and think "If he's this good at this age, imagine what he would have given us at his prime". That's the difference.
Aubameyang in the PL
Appearances114
Goals64
Assists15*

cavani


Appearances26
Goals10
Assists3

lacazette


Appearances128
Goals50
Assists18

Harry Kane
Appearances245
Goals166
Assists34

Jimenez
Appearances86
Goals34
Assists13

Not sure how many chances Wolves create but would be interesting to see how Jimenez faired in a side like ours with more chances.

sample size on Cavani is small,bu I rate him highly. Just don’t see him being relied on heavily with his age so I hope Ole really rotated him well with Greenwood.
 

Martialfc

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Absolutely brilliant player and a great guy. I hope Greenwood learns from him because he ain’t going to learn much from Rashford. He’s better than him already!
 

Stormrage101MUFC

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I know this isn't specific to the PL, but in the list of great modern strikers who played for major European teams, I'd rate Cavani above Benzema tbh. Even in that Real Madrid team and in La Liga, Benzema didn't get close to a 40 goal season even once. Cavani did that multiple times for PSG (albeit in a much weaker league, but also in an arguably weaker club side).

Prime Benzema was a great striker no doubt, but not as good as prime Cavani, imo.

Imagine Cavani joined Real Madrid instead of PSG, and collected all those Champions League trophies instead of Benzema. How highly would Cavani be ranked then?
 

JebelSherif

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I have enjoyed watching Edison Cavani for Utd. this season and apparently to stay fit when PSG gave him the cold shoulder he used 'ballet' so I have a movie pitch: top footballer turns into top ballet dancer and becomes a hit in the West End (a sort of Billy Elliot for football fans). He can play himself!

All this talk about his 'age' seems premature, he seems to be a box-to-box player at times and is embarassing some of Utd.s younger players with his defensive work. He is only 35 and Ibrahimovitch is still playing well at 39 (does he do ballet too?).

P.S. Did his chip goal win MOTDs Goal of the Season? it should have. Not only was it a great goal, but on the day the fans returned was perfect timing.