Edinson Cavani: Why He'd Be Best Served Joining Real Madrid over Barcelona

Samuel MarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2013

PARMA, ITALY - JANUARY 27:  Edinson Cavani of SSC Napoli celebrates a victory at the end of the Serie A match between Parma FC and SSC Napoli at Stadio Ennio Tardini on January 27, 2013 in Parma, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

At a club where strikers aren't necessarily the flavor of the month it is hard, impossible even, to see Edinson Cavani leaving Napoli for Barcelona.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, although the two aren't completely similar, will be cited as the example, and although the Swede was far from the disgrace some suggest he was at Barcelona—22 goals in his sole season—it is probably a fair representation.

La Blaugrana have developed the idea of a false nine even further since Ibrahimovic's departure, and with Spain doing the same to great success at international level, it isn't thought Tito Vilanova will be in the market for a traditional No. 9 this summer.

On the other side of the La Liga coin, you have Real Madrid, who not only would be able to accommodate Cavani much more but have also been on the end of some flattering comments from the Uruguayan:

My future? I have a contract for four years but in football you never know what to expect. Real Madrid are a team which stimulate the imagination. But I only think about the present.

Los Blancos favor a quick, dynamic counter attack approach, and with Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria wide, plus the rumored arrival of Gareth Bale, it is easy to see how the striker, who turns 26 this week, would fit into their style.

As more of a traditional striker than many around these days, Cavani is strong, good in the air and has the ability to play with his back to goal—an attribute which may be found wanting at Camp Nou.

His record since moving to Napoli in 2010 has been phenomenal. He is approaching 100 goals in little over 120 appearances and this season has scored 27 goals in 26 matches in all competitions.

Last Wednesday night playing against Spain—he has 13 goals in 45 caps for Uruguay—he didn't quite live up to top billing, but in international friendlies who often does? It is unlikely to scupper any potential move to the Spanish capital.

Of course there are two quite big reasons why Cavani may not move to Real Madrid: Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema.

Already Madrid struggle to keep the two happy with just one slot available in the team. The potential arrival of Edinson Cavani would surely signal the exit door for at least one of them.

Bleacher Report Serie A columnist Gianni Verschueren suggests that "Cavani would easily outplay both. He has an incredibly consistent goalscoring record—Real's attack would be unstoppable."

In theory it already is unstoppable, last season Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuain and Benzema scored 118 between them. This season, for varying reasons, looks set to see those figures drop.

The nature of the beast in football means that once you stop hitting targets previously hit, changes often occur. If that change is to signal the signing of Cavani the next question is on whose head it falls—Higuain or Benzema?