Editor's note: In light of yesterday's rumor that Javier Saviola is joining the Seattle Sounders in July we asked SBNation.com/Soccer's La Liga expert Zach for a scouting report on the Malaga forward. Richard at ProSoccerTalk thinks this move is more likely than past players (especially Verdu) linked ot Seattle.
Javier Saviola may be 31, which starts to sound old for a striker, but he should have "less years" on his legs considering there have been three season out of the past five where he's played less than 1,000 minutes. Don't worry though, he wasn't hurt, he was just not a first choice guy at his club. He has scored a ton of goals, though most of those were back with Barcelona from 2001 to 2007. That said, he can still do the job and has been solid for Malaga this season with eight goals in 28 appearances.
He's spent his entire career leagues not really known for physical play so unless he'd be extremely bothered by the often clumsy and overly physical play in MLS, I think he still has a lot to offer. Saviola just likes to play and wants to be on the pitch, so if he wants to be in Seattle, I have no doubt he'd be motivated to perform.
The only major injury he's had that I can find was a fractured toe in 2010, he missed a month. That said I've read stuff about him having questionable durability, so he might be the type of guy that picks up the miss a week here, miss a week there type injuries.
He signed a one-year deal with Malaga than runs through June 2013. Malaga's financial situation is a mess so that could play a big part on what he does. If UEFA keeps Malaga out of the Champions League next season with their Financial Fair Play ruling, that could force them to dump some contracts. Honestly, nobody really knows what they're going to do on that front.
Pros: Still has good speed, creative player with solid footwork (good dribbler, good first touch). Tons of experience playing for massive clubs in massive competitions. He's won the Champions League, he knows how to deal with pressure situations.
Cons: He tends to dive (but he's in in La Liga for years, so that's normal), his work rate isn't always great and he can disappear at times. Also he's not going to do much when it comes to heading the ball.