Manchester United bolstered their attacking options with the free transfer signing of Edinson Cavani on deadline day, securing the signing of a player regarded amongst world football’s finest finishers over the past decade.
Cavani has been without a club since leaving Paris Saint-Germain earlier his year and departed the French champions as their all-time record goalscorer, netting 200 goals in just 301 appearances in all competitions for the Parisian outfit.
The Uruguay international will hope to continue his prolific record in English football despite entering the twilight of his illustrious career, the veteran having guaranteed goals wherever he has been since moving to Europe with Palermo in 2007.
Following the 33-year-old’s arrival at Old Trafford we’ve decided to look at how Cavani compares to the continent’s finest frontmen, here are the five highest scoring players in Europe’s top five league since his debut:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 245 goals
There are few players who have made their mark on Europe’s top leagues quite like Zlatan Ibrahimovic in recent years, the Swedish superstar having enjoyed a globetrotting career that has taken in spells at some of world football’s true superpowers.
Ibrahimovic celebrated his 39th birthday earlier this week and is continuing to score goals with regularity in the colours of AC Milan, the forward in his second spell with the Rossoneri after returning from a stint in MLS with LA Galaxy.
Since Cavani’s debut in European football in 2007, Ibrahimovic has scored a phenomenal 245 goals in just 330 appearances in the continent’s top five leagues, scored across spells with Inter, Barcelona, Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.
The veteran enjoyed the best spell of his career during a four-year stint with PSG in France, scoring 113 league goals in just 122 appearances to win four league titles and become the club’s all-time record goalscorer, his landmark later eclipsed by former teammate Cavani.
Sergio Aguero – 248 goals
The greatest goalscorer in Manchester City’s history and amongst the finest of the Premier League era, Sergio Aguero has set all forms of goalscoring records tumbling during an illustrious career in European football.
Aguero first made his mark on the continent’s top five leagues during an impressive stint in the colours of Atletico Madrid, spending five seasons in the Spanish capital and scoring prolifically to earn the attention of big-spending Man City.
Two goals on his debut were a sign of things to come for a player who has become the highest-scoring non-English player in Premier League history, whilst his 12 hat-tricks are the most scored of any player.
An iconic figure at the Etihad for his role in City’s modern evolution, his current record stands at 180 league goals in just 263 appearances in the blue half of Manchester, part of a haul of 248 league goals in Europe’s major leagues since 2007.
No player in the history of the Premier League can better his goal-per-game ratio, Aguero remains one of the finest finishers in English football.
Edinson Cavani – 250 goals
Manchester United’s latest acquisition sits third amongst the highest-scoring players in Europe since his debut, plundering home 250 league goals in 413 appearances across spells at Palermo, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain.
It was during his spell in Naples that ‘El Matador’ became a household name in European football, forming a devastating partnership with Marek Hamsik and Ezequiel Lavezzi and scoring 78 league goals across three seasons, finishing as the leading scorer in Seria A during the 2012/13 campaign.
That proved his final season in Italy as a big-money move to Paris followed, where after initially playing a supporting role to Zlatan Ibrahimovic he thrived as the Ligue 1 side’s focal point, scoring 20+ goals in all competitions in six successive campaigns, including a career-best of 49 goals in 2016/17.
Twice finishing as Ligue 1’s leading scorer, he scored 138 league goals for PSG and won six league titles, the veteran now hoping to continue his extraordinary goalscoring exploits in the Premier League this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 416 goals
Some way ahead of the aforementioned Cavani in second is the all-time great that is Cristiano Ronaldo, a player who has shattered goalscoring perceptions and set new benchmarks when it comes to finding the net.
Ronaldo has finished as the league’s leading scorer in both the Premier League and La Liga during spells at Manchester United and Real Madrid since 2007, becoming the latter’s all-time record goalscorer and winning the European Golden Shoe on four occasions.
He has – somewhat incredibly – scored less than 25 league goals in just two seasons during that time, his finest individual campaign coming after netting a staggering 48 goals in just 35 league games for Real Madrid during the 2014/15 season.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner averaged more than a goal-per-game during a La Liga career that delivered 311 goals over nine seasons, before moving to Italian football with Juventus and continuing to write an unforgettable legacy.
Two league titles and 55 league goals have come in just 66 appearances for the Bianconeri, Ronaldo arguably the greatest true goalscorer of this – or any – era.
Lionel Messi – 432 goals
With Ronaldo sitting second in these rankings there can only be one man leading the charge, Lionel Messi having taken the game to new heights alongside his long-term rival for the game’s greatest honours.
Regarded by many as the greatest player in the history of the game, Messi’s one-club career has delivered unprecedented success, winning 10 league titles at Barcelona and becoming the most prolific scorer in the history of the Blaugrana and Spanish football.
The Argentine superstar has scored 432 league goals in just 450 appearances since Cavani’s European debut, finishing as La Liga’s leading scorer on a record seven occasions and winning six European Golden Shoe awards.
Those glorious goals, deft dribbles and mesmerising displays have also seen him awarded the Ballon d’Or six times, Messi and Ronaldo simply in a league of their own when it comes to the greatest goalscorers of modern times.