PSV officially joined forces with Eran Zahavi on Sunday. With the Israeli striker (33), the Eindhoven club has a seasoned scoring machine that is looking for revenge: “If Zahavi had played in the Netherlands, he would have been in the Dutch national team and might have made a transfer to a top foreign club”, Peter Bosz recorded in April 2016, just before his transfer from Maccabi Tel Aviv to Ajax. The current trainer of Bayer Leverkusen looked out of his eyes in his only season in Israel: never before had he worked with such a complete striker as Zahavi.
Zahavi was unstoppable that year. He scored a record 35 goals in 36 league games, even though he hadnt been idle before that. In the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 seasons, the striker scored 29 and 28 times respectively. After four hyper-productive seasons, Ajax was emphatically linked to him, but Zahavi opted for the big money at Guangzhou R&F four years ago.
Historical figuresIn China, he embroidered on his unprecedented moyenne: in his first half season, Zahavi was immediately good for eleven league goals and six assists in the cup tournament. In 2017, he crowned himself the top scorer of the Super League with 27 goals, keeping ahead of big names like Ezequiel Lavezzi (21 goals) and Hulk (17 goals). In 2018, he hit 20 goals, followed by his most productive season in 2019: 29 goals in 28 league games.
The latest figures are historical: never before has a player scored so many goals in one Super League season. Of course, the Chinese league is not as highly regarded as the top European leagues, but the level has increased dramatically over the last decade due to the influx of big names such as Oscar, Mousa Dembélé, Yannick Carrasco, Odion Ighalo, Alexandre Pato, Paulinho and Marko Arnautovic.
Two-legged striker with revengeZahavi is a guarantee for goals, but especially in the smaller leagues. The then Serie A-club Palermo took him over from Hapoel Tel Aviv in the summer of 2011, but Zahavi did not get further than two goals in two seasons. With the soul under his arm he returned to Israel. His frustrating stay in Sicily did sow the seeds for his approaching PSV transfer: the ambitious Zahavi – son of a French father – is seeking revenge and wants to succeed on European soil.
With Zahavi, if all parties agree next weekend, PSV will bring in a two-legged shadow spire, which will also act as a wing attacker. The experienced Israeli can create opportunities for others, but most of all he will score goals from all angles and positions. And he has a patent on beauty. Just last year Zahavi went around the world with a winning rabona in injury time.
I have no more words to say about the Zahavi River … pic.twitter.com/aL25TBbEu9
– Futebol da China (@futeboldachina_) September 14, 2019
In the service of Israels national team, Zahavis figures are somewhat less impressive: he scored 20 goals in 51 international matches. The highlight, however, was the last series of European Championships, in which the striker scored eleven times in ten matches. Austria and Latvia fell victim to a hat-trick.
“I asked him what kind of player he is, as it is really insane what kind of goals he is scoring”, said Bayer Leverkusen defender Aleksander Dragovic at the end of 2019 after Austria – Israel. Austrian goalkeeper Cican Stankovic was also full of admiration. “World class. He shoots with the left, with the right and from all positions. He is an incredible player who, in my opinion, is far too good to play in China”
Bullet through the church Sunday afternoon PSV confirmed that Zahavi has signed a two-year contract. The Eindhoven club pays no transfer fee, because Zahavis contract with Guangzhou R&F has been dissolved. He will compete in the Philips Stadium with Donyell Malen, Noni Madueke, Maxi Romero and Joël Piroe.