5 Reasons Why Edinson Cavani Is Manchester City's Must-Have at Transfer Window
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images
There is some history on my side.
You may not know this, but my other byline here is as a Featured Columnist for the Philadelphia Phillies. Last winter, my first published recommendation to the Phillies to sign outfielder Delmon Young appeared on December 16, 2012.
After a few more nudges from me, the Phillies signed Young on January 22, 2013.
Did Phillies' general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. take my advice? Maybe not directly, but sometimes you just have a feel for things.
My feeling now is that Manchester City need Cavani very badly, and there is no point in being bashful about it.
Obviously, there is a fairly significant difference between a one-year, $750,000.00 outfielder and a £60 million striker.
Still, here's hoping lightning strikes twice.
Edinson Cavani Scores Goals—Lots and Lots of Goals
Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images
Manchester City lost the Premier League despite conceding the fewest goals in the league.
You don't need a doctorate in differential calculus to figure out which half of the goals' equation City could not balance.
City's leading scorer in the Premiership last season was Edin Dzeko with 14 goals.
When your primary competition for the league title has players scoring 26 goals (Robin van Persie) and 21 goals (Tottenham Hotspur), it should be pretty clear that you are trailing in the arms race.
So if you are going to have to buy a striker anyway, why not buy the very best?
City Can Afford Him
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images
Napoli knows what it has in Cavani, specifically a 26-year-old striking sensation at the top of many wish lists. Everyone knows Cavani is going to cost a ton.
Napoli's management has decided to underscore that point. Per Sky Sports, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is intent on making Cavani's suitors know what they are getting themselves into.
"I put a really high cost on it, because I do not want to see it (Cavani leave)," De Laurentiis remarked.
For his part, Cavani seems pretty sure that he is worth whatever his eventual price tag might be.
Earlier this season, per the Mirror, Cavani let it be known that it was all right with him to be viewed as an expensive commodity.
About his then-reported £54 million price tag, Cavani blithely said, “If a club has a clear project and they want to focus on me, they can’t be frightened in front of this figure."
It's just money, Cavani seemed to say. True enough.
Until Financial Fair Play rules really take hold, City should spend what it can when it can to improve the club.
The Robin Van Persie Effect
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
In my fantasy baseball league, where players can be kept from year to year, one of my friends often downplays the impact of those retained players because, in his words, "it's not like you can keep them all."
But Manchester City should not be signing Edinson Cavani for the purpose of keeping him away from Chelsea and Manchester United (though, let's face it, that would be okay, too.)
City needs Cavani because City just watched United sign the best available striker from last summer's transfer window and ride him to the title.
Much was made of Robin van Persie's goal-scoring slump toward the season's end. Yes, over eight Premier League matches from January 30 to April 8, van Persie had but one goal.
That did not matter much, though, because before January 30, he had 19 goals, and by that time, United's lead in the Premiership over City was seven points.
City never really threatened United after that. So van Persie had more or less done the job even with quite a few matches left in the season.
City cannot let this summer transfer period end without bringing a lights-out striker on board. You have surely heard of what they say about those who do not learn from history.
The Transfer Window Means Exits, Too
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Manchester City began last season with four coveted strikers. Only one of those four, Sergio Aguero, seems sure to be with the club come August.
Mario Balotelli is long gone.
Is it possible that Tevez and Dzeko are still lockering at the Etihad in August? Maybe.
But the more likely result would be the departure of one or both of them.
New Manager, New Striker, New Outlook
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
One of the thousands of ways that American sports differ from European sports is the way the fans in Europe hold on to the departed—in more ways than one.
The minute's applause, be it pre-game or in game at a specific match minute, is a very cool element of football that has no real equivalent in American sport.
Sometimes, it just means a guy left town. In Manchester City's case, the most recent example is Roberto Mancini.
Los Angeles Lakers fans never sang any songs mourning the end of Phil Jackson's tenure as head coach.
But there were the City faithful, singing Mancini's praises per The Standard, even as City were winning their first match without him.
It is bad enough that Manuel Pellegrini (or whoever City's new manager turns out to be) will hear Mancini's name every time City goes down by a goal for the foreseeable future.
For City, signing a player like Edinson Cavani will give that new manager a potent weapon on the pitch and a useful distraction from the old manager off it.