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Who is Cristian Pavon?

  • Published at 07:50 pm June 30th, 2018
  • Last updated at 07:55 pm June 30th, 2018
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Argentina's Cristian Pavon in action with Nigeria's Kenneth Omeruo during their World Cup 2018 group stage match at Saint Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday Reuters

Competition for places was so fierce that not even Inter star Mauro Icardi was called up by Jorge Sampaoli, but Boca Juniors star Pavon has now also edged out Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala to supply the goals for Lionel Messi at the World Cup, accroding to Thesun.co.uk. 

Who is he?

Pavon signed his first professional contract with Argentinian top-flight club Talleres de Cordoba in 2012, aged just 16. After impressing with the Cordoba side, the youngster got his big break two years later, moving to Buenos Aires to sign for South American football giants Boca juniors in a £1m deal. 

Upon joining Boca, Pavon was loaned out to Colon in 2014 to gain first-team experience. The then-teenager impressed during his temporary stay with Los Sabaleros, scoring five times in 20 outings. Following in the footsteps of club’s long line of gifted attackers with a creative flair and crowd-pleasing dribbling skills – such as Juan Roman Riquelme, Carlos Tevez and the one and only Diego Maradona – Pavon has established himself as a fan favourite within the raucous Bombonera in recent seasons.

As he has developed, Pavon, also rumoured to be a Manchester City transfer target, has become an increasingly key figure for Boca, helping them to two consecutive titles. Pavon’s club form was first recognised in 2017 when he was handed his senior international debut. 

How would Pavon get on in the Premier League?

At 21 and having never experienced European football, Pavon would represent a risk. There are no guarantees the youngster would be able to come straight in and perform for Arsenal, who were previously interested. Stylistically, though, he has all the tools to step in at the Gunners. 

Right-footed and often deployed on the right wing for Boca, Pavon can also play on the left side of the attack, cutting inside onto his stronger foot. With his pace, dribbling and work ethic, he shares many attributes with Manchester United's Alexis Sanchez. An expert dribbler and accurate crosser off either foot, Pavon in a creative threat in the final third. While his finishing is not yet as refined as Sanchez’s, the Argentina international is more than capable of contributing in front of goal, too.

Off the ball, Pavon presses diligently, regularly seen winning the ball back high up the pitch, and is always willing to track back to support his full-back.

How much would Pavon cost?

Pavon’s Boca contract contains a £27m release clause. Even with the inherent risk of signing a player from South America, such a fee would represent a steal for a player of Pavon’s undeniable quality and sky-high future potential.

Reports in Argentina suggest Arsenal are prepared to trigger Pavon’s buyout clause, but Boca president Daniel Angelici claims no bids for the youngster have been received.

“For the moment, we have not received any proposal, formally or informally,” Angelici said. “But I know very well what I said to Cristian when we renewed his contract.

"I am not going to cut off his career, but we made him a nice contract so that he would be comfortable.”