Is a striker Chelsea’s most immediate need? Probably not. But that isn’t stopping them from pursuing one of Europe’s best over the last couple of seasons, Edinson Cavani of Napoli. Like others the club has sought after this summer, Cavani seems like quite a long shot.
Why? Because Napoli aren’t too keen to sell him, especially after already selling Ezequiel Lavezzi this summer to PSG. Despite not making the Champions League, the notion is that this year is a great opportunity to try and make another run for the title with the current squad, with Milan and Inter looking frailer than ever and only Juventus, the champions, considered to be bigger favorites.
All that doesn’t really matter to Chelsea, who have been pursuing someone who can play the wide forward all summer long, failing in their attempts to bring over both Hulk and Andre Schurrle from Porto and Leverkusen respectfully. Cavani isn’t exactly that kind of player, while Chelsea already have Fernando Torres up front, given a promise to by Abramovich that he is their man for this season, but having Cavani as his partner won’t hurt their chances in the Premier League or the Champions League. Especially when you consider Cavani has been one of the most productive in Europe in recent years.
Over the last four season (two with Napoli, two with Palermo), Cavani has scored 96 goals in 167 matches (all competitions). His Napoli scoring rate has been much higher, with 66 goals in 94 outings. Much better than what Torres has produced since starting his Chelsea career, although the Spanish striker did make a quick beginning to the season by opening the scoring in the charity shield match vs Manchester City, eventually losing 2-3.
Chelsea are the Champions League title holders, but at the moment, despite the addition of Eden Hazard, don’t look like a team that can repeat the miracle from last season. Adding someone like Cavani to help with what looks like will be a struggling season in terms of offense before even addressing the defensive problems will be a huge boost. But how much? If Lavezzi went for €30, expect Cavani, a better striker and a younger player (25) to cost at least that much.
The other option is using a player Roberto Di Matteo would like to exclude from the squad, someone like Raul Meireles who had a disappointing first season for Chelsea after arriving from Anfield, as a player to add in a potential deal. Again, it’s quite a long shot, but with the league starting in five days, Chelsea are getting a bit desperate to improve their squad.