1 Edinson Cavani Football statistics analysts WhoScored run the rule over a possible Arsenal transfer target. For more stats on the Gunners, check out WhoScored.com.The hectic festive period is nearly upon us, which means the transfer window is edging closer. Though big money deals are rarely pushed through in the New Year, on occasion there is a surprise sprung in the final hours of the winter window. This time around, that surprise could come in the form of Edinson Cavani.The Uruguayan is a reported target for north London giants Arsenal. While Christmas is the season to be jolly, Gunners fans are far from happy at the moment following a disappointing 3-2 reverse at Stoke City on Saturday. Despite the 4-1 thumping of Galatasaray on Tuesday, a pick-me-up is needed at the Emirates and the acquisition of Cavani would certainly lift spirits among supporters. His WhoScored.com rating from starts only in Ligue 1 and the Champions League this season sits at a commendable 7.17.While that is below Alexis Sánchez (7.87) and Danny Welbeck (7.50) using the same parameters for Arsenal strikers, Cavani is still widely regarded as a world class frontman.What stands Cavani in higher stead than his potential new teammates, however, is his goalscoring ability. The PSG star has developed a WhoScored.com strength of ‘finishing’ due to his ruthlessness in front of goal. From 19 starts in Ligue 1 and the Champions League, the 27-year-old has 12 goals to his name this term, only Alexis (12) matches that.There is a case to be made that Cavani’s career has stagnated somewhat since signing for the Ligue 1 champions. Firmly in the shadow of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the former Palermo and Napoli has often been forced to play second fiddle to the Swede in the French capital.As a result, Cavani has failed to show the form that made him such a highly-rated offensive threat during his final campaign for Napoli. The Uruguay international netted 29 league goals in the 2012/13 season and was far and away the Partenopei’s best player that campaign, echoed in his WhoScored.com rating (7.70), the highest of every Napoli player and the fourth best in the whole of Serie A.Bar Alexis, Cavani is a cut above the striking options available to Arsène Wenger. The Arsenal boss may be able to call on his Chilean summer arrival, Welbeck, Olivier Giroud and Yaya Sanogo to spearhead the attack, but it’s fair to say Cavani would be a guaranteed starter under Wenger rather than a bit-part player.His determination would help create chances for Arsenal, provided he can rob the opposition of possession in dangerous positions, while his tendency to drift to the wings opens up space in the attacking third. With Alexis, Santi Cazorla and, when he returns from injury, Mesut Özil among those capable of operating behind the striker, each would profit from Cavani’s clever movement up front.A striker of his calibre drags opposition defenders out of position and with the attacking personnel at Wenger’s disposal, his players are more than capable of exploiting any potential gaps created by Cavani in and around the 18-yard box.Despite a turbulent 18 months with PSG, where he regularly battles with Ibrahimovic for the spotlight – and more often than not loses – signing Cavani could provide the much-needed boost Arsenal need in their current period of stagnation.For more stats on reported Arsenal target Edinson Cavani, click here to view his WhoScored.com player page
India captain Virat Kohli and middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara have slipped in the latest Test rankings following their 72-run defeat against South Africa in the series opener in Cape Town.Kohli, who scored 5 and 28 in the match which was dominated by the pace bowlers from both sides, fell one place to No.3 while Pujara’s 26 and 4 saw him slip two places down to No.5. (Virat Kohli defends Rohit Sharma’s selection, says current form was the reason)Kohli had moved up from No.6 to No.2 in the ICC Test rankings (with 893 rating points) for batsmen after a sensational series against Sri Lanka where he finished with 610 runs in December 2017.WATCHKohli scored two back-to-back double hundreds in Nagpur and Delhi including a career-best 243 at the Feroz Shah Kotla. He was named man-of-the-series as India won their ninth successive series under him. (India’s preparation for South Africa Test series raises questions)Kohli finished 2017 with 1059 Test runs from 10 matches including five hundreds – three of them were double tons.Australia’s captain Steve Smith continues to stay on top with England skipper Joe Root gaining two places up to No.2.In the bowling rankings, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin remained static at No.3 and No.4 positions respectively but Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who grabbed six wickets in the match, reached his career-best 28th rank.MARSH BROTHERS ACHIEVE CAREER-BEST RANKINGSRoot has earned 26 points from the Sydney Test in which he was dismissed once in scoring 141 runs, but Kohli has dropped 13 points after his contributions of five and 28 at Newlands. Pujara’s scores for 26 and four result in his total falling by 25 points.advertisementSouth Africa’s Hashim Amla and Dean Elgar have slipped three places apiece to finish in 10th and 16th positions respectively, but AB de Villiers has risen five places to 13th with a slot in the top-10 firmly within his sights.South Africa opener Aiden Markram, who was the player of the tournament in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in 2014, and India all-rounder Hardik Pandya are the other big movers from the Newlands Test. Markram has moved up six places to 48th, while Pandya is now ranked 49th after rocketing 24 places.India’s Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have also lost ground. Vijay is now 30th after dropping five places, Dhawan has slipped three places to 33rd, while Sharma has ended up 44th after falling three places.Australia batsmen have a lot to smile about in the latest rankings, which were released on Tuesday morning.Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and Mitchell Marsh have all achieved career-best rankings after stroking excellent centuries in the Sydney Test.Khawaja, who scored 171 in Australia’s 649 for seven declared, has jumped eight places to 19th after collecting 55 points, Shaun Marsh has earned 42 points for his fine 156 that has moved him from 31st to 20th spot, while his younger brother Mitchell has been rewarded for his 101 with a leap of eight places that has put him in 57th position.RABADA TOPS BOWLING CHARTSKagiso Rabada has become the number-one ranked bowler in the ICC Test Player Rankings after helping South Africa to an exciting victory over India in the first Test at Newlands on Monday.Rabada, who was one of the stars in South Africa’s successful campaign in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in the UAE in 2014, returned figures of three for 34 and two for 41 against a star-studded India batting line-up.For this effort, the 22-year-old has collected five points, while James Anderson, who had entered the Sydney Test as world No.1, dropped by the same number of points following the last Ashes Test. This 10-point swing means the South African has moved ahead of the Englishman by one point after nine points had separated the two fast bowlers leading into the two Tests.A delighted Rabada said: “It’s special to be ranked as the No.1 Test bowler in the world. It is a surreal feeling. It’s what you dream of achieving when you start playing the game.”Cricket is ultimately a team sport and I’m thankful for the support from my team mates. It’s a great start to the year personally and for us as a team, hopefully we can continue putting in winning performances.”Rabada is the seventh South Africa bowler to top the ICC Test Bowling Rankings after Aubrey Faulkner, Hugh Tayfield, Peter Pollock, Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander.Rabada’s team-mate Philander is the other bowler inside the top-20 to make an impressive gain. For his match figures of nine for 75, which also earned him the player of the match award, the 32-year-old has earned 67 points, which, in turn, has lifted him from 12th to sixth position.advertisementPhilander now trails Australia’s sixth-ranked Josh Hazlewood by eight points and has an opportunity to break into the top-five following the Centurion Test, which begins on Saturday, 13 January.Outside the top-20, India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Pat Cummins of Australia have achieved career-high rankings.Bhuvneshwar has vaulted eight places to 22nd following figures of four for 87 and two for 33, while Cummins has leaped eight places and is now in 28th position after match figures of eight for 119, which also earned him the player of the match award.There is no change in the top-five of the all-rounders’ list, which is still headed by Shakib Al Hasan, with Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in second and third place, respectively.