Edinson Cavani says the transition to life at the Parc des Princes wasn’t easy at first.
The Uruguay international was one of the most sought after men in Europe this past summer, reputed for his brilliance in the shadow of Vesuvius at Napoli.
Essentially all of the continent’s financial elite were mentioned in connection to his name – with requisite links to Manchester City and Chelsea of course present – the 26-year-old eventually opting for Paris Saint-Germain in a blinding €64.5 million deal.
Along with needing to adapt to a new environment, the highly sought-after striker left behind a fanatical fan base in Naples that felt a level of betrayal commensurate with the adoration once lavished on Cavani upon his departure.
In view of his relationship with the San Paolo outfit’s supporters, his mother had even gone so far as to suggest early in the summer he would remain with the Partenopei due to his relationship with the city’s populace.
Yet of course, we are all well aware of the role cash plays in the modern game, and Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis would ultimately see off his star man for a fee that would be reinvested in former Arsenal target Gonzalo Higuain amongst others.
And Cavani – who continues to be paired with sensational switches to Arsenal, City and Chelsea despite having just swapped shirts – has admitted his early days in the French capital weren’t as bright as he would’ve liked.
“I’m fine in Paris,” he told Le Figaro. “The beginning was not easy, I was recovering from a period of transition.
“The acclimatization was difficult but everyone treated me very well and this helped me.
“Today I’m happy and I want to continue to improve as both a person and a player.
“Ligue 1 is a good league, it’s quite interesting. I’m not sure but it’s growing; it’s very physical and with time can reach the level of the Premier League and become one of the biggest divisions in the world.”
Is Cavani a man who already wants to depart his new employers? Not nearly. He’s acknowledged Ligue 1’s standing but expressed faith, and after all plays in a team filled with stars.
He’s already managed to push Ezequiel Lavezzi to the fringes of the first team, scoring 18 goals in 23 appearances across all competitions.
If the start of his career in Paris was difficult, the Uruguayan surely settled at a rapid rate, because opponents of his are in as imminent of danger as ever.
So, quite bluntly, don’t expect him to be crossing the English channel anytime soon.
image: © jikatu