Scouting Edinson Cavani: Rumoured Arsenal, Man City and PSG Target

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMay 15, 2013

NAPLES, ITALY - MAY 12:  Edinson Cavani of Napoli celebrates the victory after the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and AC Siena at Stadio San Paolo on May 12, 2013 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

For those of you who've been living under a rock for the last 12 months, Edinson Cavani has had another phenomenal season and continues to be linked with some of Europe's top clubs.

Arsenal and Manchester City have been linked to the £60 million man (via IB Times), while the Daily Mail believe both City and Paris Saint-Germain have agreed to personal terms with the Uruguayan.

One thing is for sure: He looks destined to leave Napoli this summer. Walter Mazzarri is set to depart the club after taking it as far as it can conceivably go, and there was always a feeling of "now or never" about the Partenopei's Scudetto chase this season.

If you've not seen much of Cavani and only know of his name, you've come to the right place to learn all about how he plays.

Goal Machine

First things first: Cavani is a world-class goal-scoring machine.

He can be a little streaky at times, but he has a habit of more than making up for it with a hat trick out of the blue. He has become the darling of Stadio San Paolo, lighting up the crowd on a weekly basis with committed performances and passionate showings.

He scores every type of goal—headed, tap-in, free-kick, long-range striker or golazo. He can do it all.

Since joining Napoli from Palermo, Cavani has breached the 30-goal mark in each of his three seasons: 33 in his first two, 37 at the time of this writing in 2012-13. That's a ridiculous return, the mark of a truly elite forward.


Many believe Cavani to be a pure poacher. His showing in the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League games against Chelsea lent support to that argument, as the Uruguayan was rather static in comparison to the raging, roaming Ezequiel Lavezzi.

But in Serie A, "El Matador" is renowned his tireless work ethic, covering the length of the pitch and back multiple times per game.

As such, he's become adept at dribbling forward with the ball at his feet, laying the ball in simple circumstances or launching a longer pass.

When Napoli are under the cosh, Cavani instinctively drops back, gets his foot on the ball and starts attacks himself. He forces the issue and literally carries his side out of trouble.

Formation and Versatility

Walter Mazzarri experiments heavily with his tactics, and the resulting successes have seen him labelled one of the premier tactical minds across world football.

Cavani's role has differed greatly across the season due to this, and he's proven adept in the following formations: 4-3-3, 3-5-2, 3-4-3 and 3-5-1-1.

Mazzarri often likes to change formations midgame, and he asks a lot of star players Marek Hamsik and Cavani when doing so.

In Napoli's draw with Juventus, the home side started in a 3-5-2 with Goran Pandev supporting Cavani. Mazzarri changed to a 4-3-3 with Hamsik as a false-nine and Cavani as a left-winger part-way through the second half, then finished the game using a midfield diamond.

Cavani went from left-forward, to left-wing, to No. 10 and finally to right-forward in the space of 60 minutes, and at no point did he struggle.


Very few strikers show the consistency, versatility and commitment Edinson Cavani does.

He combines pace, power, creativity and finishing into one tall, muscular frame, making him a rare complete forward who can cut it at the highest level.

If any player is worth €60 million, El Matador is certainly one of them.


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