Which Premier League Club Should Sign PSG Striker Edinson Cavani?

Graham RuthvenFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2014

PSG's Edinson Cavani reacts during the Champions League quarterfinal first leg soccer match between PSG and Chelsea, at the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, Wednesday, April 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Christophe Ena/Associated Press

You shouldn’t believe what promotional pictures tell you in football. Last year Gareth Bale appeared on the front cover of one of the most popular video games on the market in a Spurs shirt, just weeks before signing with Real Madrid.

Now the sport’s forensic eye has turned to Edinson Cavani and graphics advertising Paris Saint-Germain’s new kit, from which the striker is absent, as per Anthony Hay of the Daily Mail.

A similar campaign for the club’s home kit featured Cavani prominently, yet he is nowhere to be seen in the most recent advert for the away shirt. Should something be read into the striker’s omission? Or does it mean as much as Bale’s appearance on FIFA 14 in a Spurs shirt?

Cavani has been heavily linked with moves to a number of Premier League clubs this summer, with the player said to be disgruntled about being something of an afterthought to Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the PSG front line, as per the Daily Mail (via ESPN).

“Premier League or the Bundesliga? I love both,” Cavani enthused to Le10Sport (via the Daily Star), fuelling rumours of a switch. “But I’m not the type to change leagues constantly. Germany, Spain, Italy and England are the best leagues, but Ligue 1 is also progressing.”

However, which Premier League club would best suit the Uruguayan striker? Of all the clubs linked with Cavani—Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United—where would he flourish most?

Cavani has long been linked with a move to Manchester United, and the two parties may be very close to finalizing a deal, as per Marca (via Amitai Winehouse of Squawka).

But with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, as well as Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck, already on their books, how exactly would Cavani fit in? On the face of it, he wouldn’t, unless he’s willing to play on the left or right, which is why he’s open to leaving PSG in the first place.

NATAL, BRAZIL - JUNE 24:  Edinson Cavani of Uruguay reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil.  (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Of course, United’s transfer efforts will largely be focused elsewhere this summer, with midfield and defence taking priority as Louis van Gaal looks to fix his “broken” squad, as per ESPN.

Yet executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward’s comments to Jamie Jackson of The Guardian last week suggest that Man Utd are ready to break the bank for a statement signing, which is what Cavani would be to the Old Trafford club. His practical worth would be questionable, something that would surely see Van Gaal veto any move.

If Cavani is looking for a club where he can be the focal point of attack, Liverpool might be his best option, and they are apparently interested, suggests a report from Jamie Anderson of the Daily Express. The departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona has left Brendan Rodgers not just short of a striker, but also short of a talisman and leader.

Rodgers has been experimenting with a fluid 4-5-1 formation on tour in the United States this summer, with new signing Lazar Markovic providing the kind of width that Liverpool perhaps lacked last term.

Such a system would leave no clear role for someone like Cavani, with Daniel Sturridge leading the line, but if Rodgers is looking for a direct replacement for Suarez, then he could do worse than moving for the PSG striker.

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  Alexis Sanchez of Chile celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Brazil and Chile at Estadio Mineirao on June 28, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Arsenal would appear to be nearer the back of the pack chasing Cavani. The Gunners were linked with a move for the Uruguayan all the way through last season, per Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express, but Arsene Wenger has gone in a different attacking direction with the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona.

Yet there could still be room for Cavani. It would require Wenger to jettison Olivier Giroud, but few would argue that such a like-for-like change would be an upgrade for Arsenal’s front line. Would Wenger have the backbone to be so ruthless?

Manchester City also appear to have lost interest in Cavani, having courted him and failed with a bid for him last summer, as per Declan Warrington of the Daily Mail. Manuel Pellegrini settled on signing Alvaro Negredo instead, and with talk of a new contract for Edin Dzeko, according to Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail, City seem to have moved on from their pursuit of the Uruguayan.

Cavani will be faced with a number of desirable destinations should he decide to leave PSG. But his problem is that there are few clubs willing to offer him what he wants—namely the No. 9 shirt.

He might have to find a place for himself out on the wings or just behind the central striker, kind of like what he does at PSG.