Edinson Cavani is one of my favorite players. In the modern game reliable goalscoring centre forwards are hard to find, especially at the top level. It’s a simple joy for a football fan to watch a player who just loves to score goals. And score good goals too. We’ve all had that player we wanted to emulate when we were a kid. For me it was the great Mark Hughes. For Cavani himself it was the phenom Gabriel Batistuta. Could kids in the 305 begin idolizing the Uruguayan marksman? It all stems from this, A follow on twitter.
For me it’s the first rumor about a dynamite forward that makes sense. The talk of Neymar and Griezmann is all well and good but they are plural years away from actually considering signing for a MLS outfit. Suarez is a name that gets bandied about but is it worth it for the baggage he brings with him? Can a front office going hard on big positive buzzwords like respect and inclusion then really go and sign up a character like Luis Suarez with a straight face? Deep down everyone should know Messi is never going to happen. Like the Totti to Miami FC rumor from a couple of years back, those kinds of players are not going to trade in their “one-club hero” status for a cameo in the USA. Ronaldo’s the one that could come to fruition at some point because he’d obviously love it in this city and isn’t afraid of a big move.
Cavani’s PSG contract expires in the summer of 2020. So it doesn’t match up perfectly with the intended IMCF start date but it would totally be worth starting off the season without him. He wants to finish that last season with the Parisian mega club. In a year’s time Cavani will be 33, so it’s not much of a sacrifice to bring him in halfway through the first season if you can sign him for 2.5-3.5 years, lets say until the end of 2023, when he’ll be 36. Look at how well an almost finished Rooney is doing with D.C. United and the ease that Zlatan finds the back of the net at the ripe old age of 37. The prospect of Cavani with something left in the tank should terrify MLS defenders and excite IMCF fans.
I don’t know the MLS record for goals in a season but I’m certain that Cavani surrounded by the right technicians would break it (Editor’s Note: Josef Martinez in 2018 scored 31 goals for Atlanta United). That’s another part of the puzzle, if a player like Cavani is signed you’ve still got to find the right players to give him service. But you only have to look at his strike rate over the years. Give him chances and he will score. Cavani vs the sub-par MLS defenses could be a bloodbath.
What are his other options? Forwards usually have a harder time maintaining top level performances in their 30s but Cavani is not a CF just about the physical game. He’s great technically too. So there will be suitors in Europe. A move back to an Italian club would be tempting for him. It’s unlikely he’ll head to the Premier League. I’m not sure he’d be down for the persistent rain in the North-West of England or the long and grim London winters. His list of honours in Europe is as big as his haul of his goals. Edinson might feel he has nothing left to prove on the continent.
On this side of the Atlantic he can probably pick up the same salary as a DP for a MLS franchise as he could in Serie A and here’s where the South Florida angle comes into play. The lifestyle and weather Miami can offer is always going to turn player’s heads. Cavani isn’t a playboy but the chance to bring a young family to this city with it’s huge Latin identity would be a plus for him. Montevideo is a reasonably comfortable direct 9 hour flight away from MIA rather than taking a whole day with connections from Europe.
All these things add up. Becks and Edinson never played together, and they narrowly missed each other at PSG in 2013. However, they are sure to have crossed paths and talked about this. Even when you get down to the detail that Cavani never played for Barça or Real Madrid, his Uruguayan heritage makes him a very safe choice. There’s not really a reason for fans who follow those two teams or who are from other Latin American countries to shudder at the thought of pulling on a number 9 Cavani Inter Miami jersey.
The sum of all these parts is something I added up in a podcast with the Magic City Soccer crew about a year ago (Editor’s Note: Lee predicted Cavani as one of the first signings at 62:28). Ultimately this will still be a hard sell to Edinson but it is absolutely worth the IMCF front office shooting for this one. It’s not a dream like Messi, Neymar or Griezmann. This is something that could actually happen if both parties want it to. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes. I’m not an MLS supporter but it would be fantastic to see kids in the park kicking a ball around with their dads screaming CAAAVVAAANNNIIIIIII!!!!!