Edinson Cavani frustrated again at PSG
14 January 2016, 23:14
Paris - January often spells misery for Edinson Cavani.
A year after he was sanctioned by Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc for a breach of discipline, the Uruguay forward is once again criticized for his perceived lack of commitment.
Last year, Cavani was handed a fine and suspended for a couple of matches after returning late to his club following the mid-season break, fueling speculation he could be leaving during the January transfer window. This time, it's Cavani's decision to go on holidays two days before his teammates that left PSG unimpressed.
Asked to give details about a meeting involving players that was held in Doha during PSG's winter training camp, Blanc acknowledged that the striker's case was discussed. Blanc told a press conference Cavani "is not a problem" but "the situation had to be discussed. It was a behavior problem."
The reason behind Cavani's frustration remains the same. The former Napoli striker, who joined PSG for 64 million euros ($77 million), is unhappy being used in a wide position that accommodates Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Cavani, who has scored 10 goals in 16 league games this season, prefers to play as a proper center forward.
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"Our system does not allow Cavani to show his qualities at 100 percent, but his statistics over the past 2 1/2 years have been very good," said Blanc. "He would like us to play differently but I also need to keep the squad and my team balanced."
Cavani was given the chance to shine in his favorite position against Lyon in the League Cup, but the striker did not seize it as he struggled to make an impact in the 2-1 win midweek.
"I have a great trust and admiration for Edi," said Blanc, also underlining his team's excellent record this season. "The results are good and the way we play is suiting a majority of players. It's hard to have a change of tactics for one player, all the more because we have the results and the play fits my philosophy."
Cavani's anguish should not give Blanc too much of a headache, though, as PSG travels to Toulouse on Saturday with a 20-point lead over second-place Angers in the league standings.
Angers is at Nice on Friday and Lorient plays host to third-place Monaco on Sunday.
Here are some other things to know about the weekend's matches:
VAGNER LOVE JOINS MONACO
Monaco hopes it finally found the right striker to replace Dimitar Berbatov and Anthony Martial.
The principality club has hired former Brazil international Vagner Love from Corinthians as the misfiring Stephan el-Shaarawy looks set to leave Monaco during the transfer window.
The 31-year-old Vagner Love will be wearing the No.9 jersey and Monaco officials want him to be as prolific as he was with Corinthians, where he scored 14 goals last season.
"Vagner Love is a striker who has shown all his value in his European career and more recently with Corinthians," said Monaco vice president Vadim Vasilyev. "We have had problems scoring goals since the start of the season, and we are convinced Vagner Love can provide us with all his quality in that department."
FEKIR BACK IN MARCH?
Much of Lyon's struggles this season have been related to Nabil Fekir's absence.
The France playmaker ruptured his right knee ligaments playing for the national team back in September and has been sidelined since. Good news for Lyon, he could be back as early as March according to coach Bruno Genesio.
"He is well on schedule, it's all good," said Genesio. "He has started to run on treadmills and has a good morale."
Lyon is in sixth place ahead of its travel to bitter rival Saint-Etienne in the Rhone derby, with both teams trailing third-place Monaco by four points.