Built like a beast, with the ability to wear defences down and also strike crucial goals, Edinson Cavani was without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most complete centre forwards in Europe.
Ever since signing for Napoli in 2010, Cavani’s career has improved in leaps and bounds. it was only a matter of time before some of Europe’s biggest clubs came circling in, once they got wind of the fact that Napoli were willing to part with their star striker.
And before long, Cavani left Naples for Paris, but not before giving Napoli three splendid seasons, whilst also becoming the fifth highest transfer of all time, leaving Napoli with around €64million to spend on a suitable replacement.
Whilst only time will tell whether Cavani’s goals and work rate, can be replaced, Napoli are well on their way to ensuring that not a single penny of the money received for Cavani, goes to waste, having already €80million on transfers.
The biggest buy so far, has been the signing of the Argentinean forward Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid for a club record fee of €40million.
Having scored almost 100 league goals in the last five La Liga Seasons, whilst mostly operating as a mobile and intelligent lone striker, it is difficult to see a better replacement for the outgoing Cavani.
With the departure of the club’s best defender, Hugo Campagnaro to Inter, Napoli had to fill the void in central defence. This was again swiftly done with the signing of another Real Madrid player in Raúl Albiol for just €12million, Napoli's second biggest buy of the summer. The 27-year-old Spanish defender’s experience will no doubt ease the pain of losing their best defender to a direct rival.
And to round off the top three was yet another Real Madrid Player, José Callejón. The young Spanish forward making his way from Madrid to Naples for a fee believed to be in the region of €10million.
Whilst the prospect of those three alone would have had the Partenopei faithful excited, the acquisition of PSV's Belgian winger Dries Mertens, the return of striker Emanuele Calaiò from Siena and the arrival of a promising young Croatian midfielder Josip Radošević from Hajduk Split means that Napoli will have an opportunity to witness a more prolific attack, even with the loss of Cavani.
Whilst all these signings were made, the only area of the squad which raised some eyebrows was the goalkeeping slot. That too, was adequately answered with the arrival of the highly rated Santos goalkeeper Rafael Cabral for a reported €5million and the loan signing of Liverpool’s Pepe Reina.
Thanks to the €64million sale of Cavani to PSG, Napoli have been able to reinforce the squad by signing nine new players for €80million, with a net outlay of just €16million.
Irrespective of whether Higuain reaches the same heights as El Matador or not, one thing is for sure, Napoli have a stronger squad and have a better chance of lifting the Serie A title this time around.
All of this, even whilst losing out on one of the world's premier centre forwards begs the question if Napoli have got the better end of the bargain, after all.
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