[dropcap]W[/dropcap]idely regarded as one of world football’s most clinical number nines, Edinson Cavani has had to put up with playing second fiddle at club level for the last two years.
Due to the presence of perennial winner Zlatan Ibrahimović as Paris Saint-Germain’s attacking focal point, the Uruguayan poacher has been shoehorned into a wide position in Laurent Blanc’s starting XI more often than not in the last two campaigns.
Although Cavani’s more withdrawn role has not inhibited the collective, with PSG claiming the Ligue 1 title again this season, the striker has made no bones about his desire to play as a centre forward.
Despite the former Napoli attacker being an important man in the capital city outfit’s continued search for silverware, his future at club level is up in the air.
With Ibrahimović going nowhere, Cavani is being linked with a Parc des Princes exit to fulfil his ambitions of playing in his favoured position.
At national level, his homeland Uruguay have been blessed with some exceptional strikers in recent times, with Cavani again vying for a place as the South American country’s main attacking weapon.
Diego Forlán has recently stepped down from the national reckoning as La Celeste’s most capped player, while Luis Suárez is his country’s top goalscorer.
However, Uruguay will not be able to call upon this attacking duo this summer as Óscar Tabárez’s men look to defend their Copa America crown in Chile.
With Forlán retired internationally and Suárez serving a ban for his questionable actions against Italy and Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, the limelight will be firmly on Cavani this time round.
Tabárez has released his initial 30-man squad for the South American competition recently, with a distinct lack of firepower a rare point of note.
In the absence of the experienced unavailable duo, the promising-but-untested Diego Rolán and Jonathan Rodríguez have been included.
Although Abel Hernández and Christian Stuani are there to offer support also, the emphasis will certainly be placed on Cavani to score the goals that can fire Uruguay into contention in Chile.
The PSG attacker is the only member of the 30-man contingent to have double figures in international goals, with Uruguay needing the 28-year-old to add to his 25 strikes if they are to compete with the likes of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and hosts Chile.
Cavani has shown at club level that he has not lost his predatory touch when deployed through the middle, with the ex-Palermo hotshot on target regularly when he gets the nod centrally if Ibrahimović is unavailable.
If the European press are to be believed, plenty of clubs of considerable standing will be running the rule over the PSG man this summer, with the potential for splashing extortionate amounts of money on Cavani if he excels at the Copa America.
Suarez’s absence will be felt given his ability and scintillating current form at Barcelona, with Cavani also charged with bringing star quality in his side’s final third, as well as hitting the back of the net.
In reality, Tabárez’s men will face stiff competition in their bid to retain the competition crown, especially after a relatively underwhelming World Cup campaign.
For Cavani, the Copa will give him a chance to thrive in the shop window, but more importantly his nation will firmly rely on him.
As such, it is time for the PSG man to remind the world of his abilities as a central striker and prove himself as one of the best in the game in his desired position.
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