The Vancouver Whitecaps remain desperate to add to their attack, and are once again interested in signing Puebla striker Lucas Cavallini.
The Whitecaps would not confirm or deny their pursuit of Cavallini or reveal whether he is on the club’s discovery list.
A source told Pro Soccer USA the Caps are seeking to add an attacking player, but a deal for the striker is not yet complete.
Mexican journalist Antonio Zamora reported Cavallini did not join Puebla’s training camp and is currently camped out in Uruguay to await word on his future. Then, ESPN reporter John Sutcliffe tweeted that Cavallini will leave Puebla and return to Canada to join the Whitecaps.
Que opinan ? pic.twitter.com/yGfkgSNFIY
— John Sutcliffe (@espnsutcliffe) December 7, 2019
Cavallini was on Vancouver’s radar last summer as well. The Whitecaps made a $5 million offer for him, according to a report published in the Mexican paper Récord. A transfer, however, fell through because Cavallini did not want to move his family at the time.
Earlier this offseason, the Whitecaps reportedly approached French striker Olivier Giroud. Although Giroud appears to be interested in a move to MLS, the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner prefers other destinations in the league.
The Whitecaps scored just 37 goals last season, the second lowest in Major League Soccer. At a transfer fee of around $5 million, Cavallini would be Vancouver’s record signing. Whether he will fix Vancouver’s attack is another question. Cavallini has been prolific in Liga MX. The striker has scored 28 goals and eight assists in 81 games for Puebla.
Whitecaps striker Fredy Montero said at the end of this season the lack of goals came down to a lack of service. “I think, overall, yes,” Montero said when asked whether the lack of service hurt the team. “Not only me, anyone that was playing upfront.”
The Whitecaps were last in key passes (1.85 per 90 minutes) and final third passes (42.44 per 90 minutes) this year, statistics that underlined Vancouver’s biggest problem.
Cavallini is a typical box striker, who does not drop deep to create chances.
For example, Cavallini completed just 32.76% of his dribbles this season. Compared to Vancouver’s other strikers, only Tosaint Ricketts, with 24.44% successful dribbles, was worse. At the same time, with 3.59 touches inside the box per 90 minutes, Cavallini was more active in the danger area than any of Vancouver’s current forwards.
Even though Cavallini’s conversion rate of 21.569% is much higher than any other Vancouver striker, Cavallini will need service to have success in Vancouver.
The Whitecaps appear to be in the later stages of finding a new striker. Cavallini, however, will only be a small piece of the puzzle in Vancouver’s second-year rebuild under head coach Dos Santos.