Every week, French newspaper L’Equipe posts player ratings for every game in Ligue 1 and they keep an average score throughout the season.
This weekend’s games are the last of 2014 in Ligue 1 and Edinson Cavani has the second lowest score in Ligue 1. Only Evian defender Cedric Mongongu has scored fewer points than the Uruguayan forward, which would make Cavani the worst striker in Ligue 1 according to L’Equipe.
At halfway point of season, Edinson Cavani has the second-lowest average L'Equipe match rating (4.25) out of all 148 Ligue 1 players.— Tom Williams (@tomwfootball) December 22, 2014
L’Equipe’s ratings are easy to misinterpret without knowing the context. Quite often they score players low to make a point or show their complete contempt for their behaviour, performance or just general dislike. Unlike some establishments, high scores are very hard to come by in France’s daily sports paper.
If you receive a seven you have performed well, an eight is excellent…10s are very rare. Only seven have been given out in the history of their rankings, going back to 1988.
However, for Cavani to receive the lowest average score by any player in Ligue 1 is ridiculous. He may not be at the same level as he was in his first season in Paris, or when he played for Napoli, but with seven league goals in 18 games and five strikes in the Champions League, he is far from dreadful.
It is questionable whether Manchester United should spend £50 million for an out-of-form 27-year-old striker, but he is far from the worst striker in France.
Alexandre Lacazette leads the way in France with 17 goals in 19 games, his average score for the season so far is 6.47, behind him is teammate Nabil Fekir on 6.21 and Marseille’s Dimitri Payet on 6.12 – Cavani scored just 4.25, one place ahead of the Uruguayan is Caen forward Mathieu Duhamel on 4.33
The 30-year-old Duhamel is playing his first season in Ligue 1 and has scored six times this season. Ricky van Wolfswinkel of Saint-Etienne, Monaco’s Dimitar Berbatov and Modibo Maiga, on loan at Metz from West Ham United have all scored fewer goals than Cavani, but every one of them ranks higher.
If Manchester United genuinely think Cavani is worth £50 million, they haven’t been paying too much attention to his form in Paris, but to give him their lowest score out of all other forwards is just as ridiculous from L’Equipe.