Argentine winger Cristian Pavon has emerged as a top talent this season due to his dazzling performances for Boca Juniors. His goal scoring outings have won him a couple of caps for his country and attracted the attention of Europe’s elite, with Arsenal very keen on him in early January. But, should they follow up their interest with a firm offer this summer?
Despite recently signing a new contract with Boca, Pavon remains keen to make his first big move, and hurl himself into the European spotlight. Like many of his fellow countrymen, Pavon will be well aware of the dangers of staying in South America too long, and the effects it can have on his career, meaning he must move to Europe within the next 18 months if he is to succeed.
Arsenal’s interest last month appeared to stem from Sven Mislintat, a man whose golden eye very rarely lets him down. With this in mind, Pavon will have been thoroughly scouted, both in person and by analysing his numbers; this will not be a rash purchase.
Mislintat will also be looking at Arsenal’s areas of weakness, and not just areas of the starting XI where they are weak. He will be looking at strength in depth and how the team can improve. Without Sanchez and Walcott, Arsenal’s depth in the wide areas is weak, and every Arsenal fan will be praying that Welbeck is sold in the summer, rather than earning a contract extension.
In Cristian Pavon, Arsenal would be getting a pintsized, tricky attacker who is capable of playing on both wings – something Arsene Wenger adores. Like many South American wingers, Pavon’s game is packed with flair and he’s partial to a spectacular long range effort. On top of this, his goal scoring record is impressive for a young winger, having netted 15 goals in 54 games for Boca. He has a €37m buy out clause which makes it easier for Arsenal.
With the arrivals of Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang, Arsenal’s goal scoring options have simply been replaced, but it still leaves them short of impact players when injuries strike or rotation is needed. With Pavon, Arsenal would be getting a player who would not be expecting to walk into the team, but would spend his first season rotating, learning and competing.
This hunger is important, as Arsenal’s backup brigade appear to have gone a little stale. The divide between the first and second XI is greater than ever, and it’s lead to complacency in certain areas of the team. Players must be fighting for their place every week, and they must know that if they don’t perform, there is a young hungry Cristian Pavon just waiting to take their place.