Cavani relishing central striker role at PSG

Shanghai, July 27 (IANS) Paris Saint-Germain’s star Edinson Cavani said he welcomed the challenge of replacing Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the French football champions’ central striker, adding that there is no pressure in it.

The Uruguay star has spent much of his career with the Ligue 1 champions playing in a wide role in order to accommodate the former Sweden captain operating as the spearhead of the attack.

With Ibrahimovic joining Manchester United, Cavani is set to be deployed at the head of the forward line under new head coach Unai Emery.

But despite facing the prospect of having to get close to Ibrahimovic’s haul of 50 goals in 51 appearances last season, Cavani said he feels no pressure in taking on the mantle.

“Pressure? No. Every player has his way of playing. I have no pressure. It’s a personal challenge for me, to give the best of myself, to win titles, to score goals for my team and to help when needed,” Cavani was quoted as saying by French newspaper L’Equipe on Tuesday.

“That’s the opposite of pressure. It’s an honour for me to be one of PSG’s forwards. It’s a great challenge to be faced with, to be part of the PSG attack in this central position. I will try to be at my best and to meet expectations, as I’ve tried to do in previous years. With the confidence of the coach and the club, I hope everything will go as we want.,” the 29-year-old added.

“I’m not the number one in attack, but I am the attacker the club made a huge investment on and whose position has changed, for various reasons.”

Cavani hoped to thrive in a more direct attacking approach under Emery, who replaced Laurent Blanc as head coach after guiding Sevilla to a third Europa League title in succession last season.

“He has a different system to our former coach. From what I’ve seen in the past, Unai’s teams are attacking, they play direct. I think that’s positive to my way of playing,” the former Napoli player said.

“Every coach has his philosophy. We’ll see how it goes — we all know that it’s results that bring about calm,” he added.

Cavani, who joined PSG from Napoli for a reported 64 million euros ($70.3 million) in 2013, said he would be happy to extend his contract at PSG.

“I still have two years on my contract. I want to stay. The club presented a project to me when they signed me, and I really wanted to be part of it. It’s for PSG to say if I must extend or not,” said Cavani, who has scored 32 goals in 81 games for Uruguay.

–IANS

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