The club made a huge statement intent yesterday with the acquisition of Ezequiel Lavezzi from the clutches of the Neapolitan faithful who worshiped him as one of their own.
The 27-year-old arrives having endured five fabulous years in Italy which culminated in a Coppa Italia win at the end of last season over Juventus – the club’s first piece of silverware since the heydays of Diego Maradona.
His statistics in Naples make impressive reading. In 188 appearances he notched up 48 goals and 49 assists. Playing out wide in a front three containing Edison Cavani as the lone striker and Marek Hamsik on the opposite wing, the three of them wreaked havoc in Serie A with their attacking foray. Labelled “The Three Tenors”, the trio pioneered Napoli’s resurgence back to the higher echelons of Italian football and getting them into the pinnacle of club football, the Champions League. Lavezzi’s contribution has been vast and will be revered in the south of Italy for years to come for his efforts.
Now comes a new challenge for him in France with Paris Saint-Germain. The club fought tooth and nail to acquire his signature and after weeks of negotiations, finally got their man. Lavezzi told reporters in his unveiling yesterday that he was excited to be here, enticed by the ongoing project. So what will he bring and where will he play?
Well, his arrival certainly puts Nene’s future up in the air. Lavezzi revels on the left-hand side of a front three attack which the Brazilian has done superbly for Les Parisiens the past two years. Not ever being budged from that position since arriving from Monaco, he now has stern competition from the new arrival. Nevertheless, both wingers (Nene & Jeremy Menez) interchanged regularly during games last season and the same will possibly happen with Lavezzi too. It just begs the question whether or not Menez and Nene will lack playing time as a consequence of Lavezzi’s arrival.
Regardless, the strength in depth is vast in those positions. Lavezzi is a versatile player and could possibly play through the middle, being complemented by his compatriot Javier Pastore. The options are there and it is a wonderful headache for coach Carlo Ancelotti to have. The array of talent at his disposal – not to mention one or two more arrivals in the coming weeks – is something the Parisien fans have dreamed of since those glorious days back in the 90’s.
Lavezzi is a world renowned star with attributes to match. He is quick, agile, ever so strong and a potent goal threat. His bullish nature is similar to that of another Argentine in Carlos Tevez and it was something that lacking last season. A real tireless grafter up top, hassling the opposition and making things happen. His character is just what this club need to get to that next level and win a championship.
It is exciting times and Lavezzi’s arrival has upped the ante even more. A player of his calibre is just begging to be adored at the Parc des Princes and he shall not be disappoint.