Tony Cascarino has backed Chelsea to go ahead and sign Edinson Cavani this month as injury cover for Tammy Abraham, but has also warned he could be another short-term flop for the Blues.
Manager Frank Lampard has revealed the club are ‘looking’ to bring in a frontman before the January transfer window shuts, with his side struggling to find the net.
Chelsea have registered more shots than runaway leaders Liverpool this season but have one of the worst conversion rates in the Premier League.
To make matters worse, their no.1 forward Abraham could face several weeks on the sidelines after appearing to pick up an injury during Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Tuesday, after which Lampard vented his frustrations about his side’s lack of clinical touch in front of goal.
“We can’t finish,” said the Blues boss.
“We get into the box and could have had three or four goals today. We are having shots, having crosses and lots of ‘ooh’ moments for the crowd, but we have to be clinical.
“Do we need to put the ball in the back of the net more? Yes. That’s clear. Our chance conversion is one of the worst in the league.”
And Cascarino believe Cavani could be their answer, amid links with a possible move away from Paris Saint-Germain this month.
The Uruguayan forward, who turns 33 next month, is out of contract with the French giants in the summer but could join a new club this month having fallen down the pecking order in Paris.
He has been linked with a possible move to Spurs, who have lost Harry Kane for four months to a hamstring problem.
However, reports on Wednesday suggested Chelsea have pushed ahead with their attempts to capture Cavani by submitting a loan bid for him.
And asked about a swoop from his former club, ex-Chelsea striker Cascarino told the Sports Breakfast: “If you can get him, he’s available and he can come at the right price, yes.
“Cavani has scored unbelievable goals for PSG, he always gets chances, every time I’ve watched him he gets chances to score.
“You don’t want to bring in people who are going to unsettle it slightly, but, if it works for the club, yes it’s a really good deal.
“What we’re seeing in this market is that loan deals are more realistic than buying players at the moment.”
However, Cascarino has also warned the Blues that signing Cavani could be a gamble that might not pay off, especially as Lampard has capable players in his squad already.
Chelsea have not had good fortune with similar deals in the past.
Neither Radamel Falcao [one goal in 12 Chelsea appearances] nor Gonzalo Higuain [five in 18] were able to succeed on loan at Stamford Bridge despite boasting good scoring records elsewhere in Europe.
Cavani is arguably a different animal; he is PSG’s all-time record scorer with 198 goals in 293 games for the club, while at previous side Napoli he boasted a record of 104 in 138 appearances.
He is coming towards the end of his career, though, and Cascarino has questioned why the Blues would move for the Uruguayan when they already have a striker like Oliver Giroud, who he believes has been harshly treated by Lampard.
“It would be a gamble [to sign Cavani],” the talkSPORT pundit added. “I think they can just move it around slightly.
“I’ve never quite understood why Giroud has been cast aside so quickly. He did brilliantly for Arsenal and he came to Chelsea, and he wasn’t the no.1 choice but then became the no.1 choice – and he leads the line for France.
“I think it’s strange that he’s been pushed aside.
“Tammy did really well and has become the no.1, but he’s now had the dip every young player has, and Chelsea should have always prepared for that.”