Earlier this week, French champions Paris Saint-Germain bought Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani from Italian side Napoli for a reported €64 million ($84 million). It's the fifth-highest transfer fee ever. What's also worth noting is that Cavani went for more than both Radamel Falcao's transfer to AS Monaco and Neymar to FC Barcelona earlier this summer.
Thing is, he's probably worth the fortune. Edinson Cavani's a beast. He's six feet tall, which is relatively standard as strikers go, but he's one of the most physical forwards in the world, and has a tendency to wear defenses down over the course of a game. He's mean. He's fast. He's got really, really good movement off the ball, and he's really, really good when he has it. He's also a poacher. Over the past two years, only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have scored more goals than Cavani (side note: Messi's scored 133 goals over that span, while Ronaldo's netted 115. Cavani's only scored 71, which, holy shit Messi and Ronaldo.) Last season, Cavani put Napoli on his back, leading Serie A with 29 goals as his overachieving club finished second in the league. And at PSG, he'll link up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored 30 goals last year in France's Ligue 1. This is terrifying.
Ibrahimovic and Cavani will be, on paper at least, the most formidable pairing in the world, and it could be most potent frontline of any kind since Barcelona's absolutely foolish 2008 trio of Samuel Eto'o, Thierry Henry, and Lionel Messi.
The move for Cavani is a statement of PSG's ambition. They won their league last year for the first time in nearly two decades, but they already want more. After losing a heartbreaker to Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinal last year, their goal now is to win the tournament and be crowned the best club in the world. Cavani would undoubtedly help them get there.
Outside of Neymar and Falcao, the summer transfer window has actually been pretty quiet so far. There hasn't been much movement, and Cavani's a big reason why. During transfer windows, the world of soccer operates somewhat like an open-air bazaar. As clubs pursued Cavani from Napoli, other clubs who were selling their stars waited to see what the Uruguayan's value was, so that they could demand a price based off of his. England's Liverpool, for example, may sell their scumbag superstar striker Luis Suarez, and clubs like Arsenal and Real Madrid are reported to be interested. Before this week, they valued Suarez at around £40 million. But Suarez, who's also Uruguayan, pairs with Cavani on their national team, and though they're vastly different players, there's not really too much difference between the two in quality. Now Liverpool want £55 million for Suarez, which is about what it took to for PSG to pry Cavani from Napoli.
What's insane about all this is that Suarez is a motherfucking nut and has to sit out six games to start next Premier League season for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic last year. So, so epic. The fact that he's missing a huge chunk of the season, however, would usually mean he's available for a cut price. But Cavani.
Many other players around the world will see their valuations balloon, as well. For reference, Italian champions Juventus bought striker Carlos Tevez from Manchester City for a shrewd £10 million. More tellingly, PSG bought Ibrahimovic last year for under £16 million.
Cavani's move to PSG has gotten the transfer period started in international soccer. Based on his price, it looks like it'll be an expensive summer.