ATLÉTICO MADRID

Cavani: a signing that carries advantages and risks for Atlético

We analyse both the advantages and possible risks for Atlético Madrid in signing PSG striker Edinson Cavani in January.

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Cavani: a signing that carries advantages and risks for Atlético
BERTRAND GUAY AFP

The arrival of Edinson Cavani at Atlético Madrid seems to be drawing closer.

Sky Sports Italia has reported this Monday that the PSG striker has already signed a three-year deal with Atléti and could even land at the Wanda as soon as January.

Cavani would certainly improve several aspects of Diego Simeone’s side, but there are also some possible drawbacks related to signing the Uruguayan striker in January, which we will analyse here.

Cavani: advantages for Atlético

Firstly, Cavani would contribute something that Atlético is lacking considerably this season: goals. If the 32-year-old has something for certain it is his unquestionable ability to find the back of the net. And that is what Simeone needs most, considering his team are currently 12th in LaLiga in terms of number of goals scored this season.

In his seven seasons in Paris, the Uruguay international has scored 196 goals in 290 games. And his strike rate record extends back to his time at Napoli, where he managed 104 goals in 138 matches. Overall, he has won the golden boot on five separate occasions: twice in Ligue 1 in France, twice in Serie A and once at the Copa America in 2017.

Cavani with PSG team mates Neymar and Mbappé.

Besides offering goals, Cavani also fits completely with Simeone’s style. The intensity with which the Uruguayan plays matches perfectly with the Atlético Madrid philosophy. The 50 yellow cards he has earned at PSG and Napoli (25 for each club) are a sign of the commitment, dedication and aggression he would offer at the Wanda.

Another important feature that the talented forward would bring is his experience. The 32-year-old is backed up by a decorated career in European football. During his seven seasons at PSG, he has won five Ligue 1 titles, five league cups, two French cups and seven French Supercups. Add to that an Italian Supercup and the Copa América he won with Uruguay in 2011.

Cavani: the risks for Atlético

The main problem that signing Cavani could entail is related to his recent lack of prominence in coach Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI at PSG. The out-of-favour striker has started just four games this season, making 11 appearances overall (seven off the bench). This, added to his age, creates some uncertainty about his form and fitness should he make the move in January.

And there lies another possible problem. If Atlético and PSG agree to a January deal for the Uruguayan, it would imply an additional cost for the Spanish club. If Los Rojiblancos wait until the summer, he would come on a free as his contract with PSG ends in June.

The cost of his January transfer fee coupled with his high salary would force Atléti to sell one of its existing squad members. Diego Costa would be the most likely candidate, although Thomas Lemar should also not be ruled out. However, the latter’s exit would be more complicated due to the high price tag that Atlético would set on him.