Real Madrid: Is Edinson Cavani worth pursuing?

The PSG striker has been linked with Real Madrid, but would he be worth signing?

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REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Real Madrid have a gaping hole left in their attack after the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus, as he was Madrid’s top scorer last season and their all-time record goal-scorer. Replacing the player considered as one of the best in the world, therefore, will not be easy. 

With Ronaldo gone, Gareth Bale should take his place as Madrid’s left winger, but the Welshman is not as consistently prolific in front of goal, be that due to form or disruptive injuries. They will need to bring in a proven goal scorer to ensure that Madrid’s attacking threat is not diminished.

An affordable goal scorer

Edinson Cavani is one of the names suggested as a replacement, as per Sky Sports. Paris Saint-Germain’s all-time top scorer had an excellent World Cup, scoring four goals before his tournament came to an end in the last-16 through injury.

He had a prolific season for PSG as well, scoring 28 goals in 32 appearances in Ligue 1 and seven goals in eight Champions League appearances, When compared to Ronaldo’s season of 26 goals in 27 La Liga appearances and 15 goals in 13 Champions League games, Cavani just about matches Ronaldo’s goal scoring ability, suggesting that he would be a good buy for Real Madrid.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva

He is also affordable. The likes of Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar would cost the La Liga side around £150 million, but Cavani would be less than this. PSG, moreover, will be unwilling to part with either Neymar or Mbappe so soon after signing them.

PSG signed Cavani from Napoli for £55 million five years ago and given his importance to the team would ask for a fee which would give them some profit on this. However, Cavani’s age would stop the asking price from rising much higher. At 31, the Uruguayan will only have a couple years left at peak form. 

There are no real signs that Cavani is unhappy at PSG, but there were occasional moments of tension between him and teammate Neymar last season, including an argument over who would take a penalty during a game.

Cavani may therefore be happier to play for a team where he does not have to compete with Neymar’s ego, one, too, where he will be recognised as the main goal-scorer.

Issues with Cavani 

One problem could be Cavani’s wage at PSG, where he earns £12 million a year. The AS report which first linked Cavani with Madrid suggests that this might be an issue for the club, and it is unknown whether Cavani would be willing to accept a pay cut. 

His age is another point against Cavani’s transfer to Real Madrid. The La Liga side may be looking for a more long-term replacement to Ronaldo, and so would be looking to sign a younger player who could spearhead Madrid’s attack for years to come. 

Names such as Mauro Icardi, Harry Kane and Paulo Dybala have been suggested as possible signings, with these three players under the age of 25, but capable of slotting straight into the first team. They would come with a heftier price tag, however.

Is Cavani worth pursuing?

Cavani, therefore, would be worth pursuing by Real Madrid if they wanted a player that could immediately replicate Ronaldo’s goal scoring form and would be relatively cheap in comparison to other players similar to the Uruguayan striker.

However, Cavani could only have a few more years at the top level, and if Madrid were willing to spend a bit more money, it would be worth going for a younger player. 

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