Cristiano Ronaldo has left the Real Madrid building. No matter how much some fans, or club representatives, want to hide from this fact, they can't. It is a situation that needs dealt with, and dealt with quickly.
Cavani half the solution for Cristiano loss
On the face of it, the loss of the Portuguese star is a setback, and one that is not easy to resolve, especially when there appear to be none of the obvious alternatives available. Florentino failed to bring in Neymar or Mbappé, signings that could have flipped the sadness, so the president has to find another solution to fill the 50-goal void per season that has been left since CR7 took his "Siuuuh!" to Turin. This loss requires two solutions: concede fewer goals (signing Courtois could help with this) and get as close to the missing volume as possible. The latter is where Edinson Cavani comes in.
As we reported on Wednesday, the noise surrounding the Uruguayan striker's potential arrival has grown louder around the Bernabéu in recent days, with excitement building that the operation could come to fruition. The player's nickname El Matador fits well. Cavani is lethal in front of goal and he knows, just like a bullfighter, that the end justifies the means. His 'slaying' comes not only in the penalty box, finishing off chances that are created by the talented players are around him. Outside the area he battles with his adversaries, hassling and jostling, while he also proves himself very effective from set-pieces, both from the deadball itself and by meeting it in the air off a teammate's delivery.
His running off the ball cannot be ignored. The battery that drives him must have an exceptional life, always appearing to be fully charged even in the dying minutes of a game. All these qualities have seen him consistently rack up goals for his team ever since 2010-2011, the season he joined the elite, signing for Napoli. An average of 34.25 per season stands up to most.
Cavani's goals per season since joining Napoli
|Average goals per season between 2010-11 and 2017-18||34.25|
Cavani outshines Bale and Benzema
Put that complete picture together of Cavani the goalscorer, Cavani the worker, Cavani the highly effective, and many Madridistas see this potential signing as a significant improvement on current number one striker, Karim Benzema. Supporters have grown weary of the Frenchman's lack of aim and nerve, which has seen an average return in the last eight seasons of 23 goals, 11 less than the PSG man. A Cristiano-ess Madrid may of course see an upturn in his goal threat but the risk remains. Gareth Bale is another consideration. The Welshman seems to be getting entrusted with leading the new Madrid project but with an average of 17.25 goals across injury-ravaged seasons, again the question remains.
Cavani turned 31 in February but his age, in a similar fashion to the man who recently left the Spanish capital, should be seen as incidental, taking into account his commitment and endurance. His last two seasons have seen his best goal return yet, albeit in a French league that the Parisien giants won at a canter, but considering his contract expires in 2020, and with FFP on the agenda, Al Khelaifi may be open letting him go for a less-than exorbitant fee.