Why this Argentine World Cup star is a good alternative to Cazorla at Arsenal

Name: Ezequiel Lavezzi

Country: Argentina

Club: Paris St Germain

International Caps: 31

Position: Attacking Midfield/Striker

Arsene Wenger is desperate this summer to address Arsenal’s chronic shortage up front this summer, and Paris St Germain’s Argentine Ezequiel Lavezzi is reportedly a target for the Gunners’ boss. His future in Paris has long been scrutinised, and it appears PSG are prepared to allow Lavezzi to leave to recoup some funds this summer in order to conform to the sanctions imposed on them by UEFA’s Financial Fair Play.

While Lavezzi is comfortable playing as a striker, he has tended to fill an inside-left position since joining PSG from Napoli in 2012. 23 goals and 18 assists in two seasons is a solid return for a man who has had to play second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. His relationship with the big Swede has flourished since the two arrived in Paris. Lavezzi’s pace, combined with his work-rate, make him a dangerous proposition. He presses the opposition with tenacity and has deceptive upper-body strength, making him difficult to shake off.

His versatility will likely be another factor in influencing Wenger’s decision to move for him. Lavezzi provides the kind of direct goal threat from wide areas that Arsenal felt they were getting when they signed Gervinho. His diagonal runs and eagerness to get on the end of through balls would complement Mesut Ozil’s vision. With Santi Cazorla looking like he may leave for Spain this summer, the Gunners will be in need of a player to fill a wide-left role. While Cazorla likes to influence play all round the field, Lavezzi is a final-third player, and will provide a completely different threat from the little Spaniard.

Exceptional performances for both Napoli and PSG in the Champions League against Chelsea and Manchester City in the past three seasons have alerted fans to the Argentine’s ability. His understated contribution makes him popular amongst his colleagues, but PSG appear to be looking beyond Lavezzi. He’s thought to be valued at £15 million. If Wenger is looking for a positional replacement for Cazorla, Lavezzi wouldn’t be a bad shout. He isn’t like-for-like, but he guarantees pace, energy, and goals.

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