Mauro Icardi "wasn't afraid" of a Paris Saint-Germain fans backlash when he stepped in for club icon Edinson Cavani and admits the Uruguay international will be missed.
Cavani is no longer a PSG player after the expiry of his contract at the end of June, bringing the curtain down on a glorious seven-year association with the French champions that saw him become the club's all-time leading scorer.
Icardi arrived only last summer, initially on loan from Inter Milan, but with 20 goals in 31 competitive appearances for PSG last term, the Ligue 1 winners eagerly made the switch permanent.
The Argentina international will now replace Cavani on a long-term basis having successfully stepped in for the former Napoli striker as he suffered an injury-peppered 2019-20 campaign.
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Icardi is confident the fans will take to him again, just as they did when he first pulled on the club's shirt in PSG's mid-September win over Strasbourg.
"I wasn't afraid [of the fans' reaction]" he told Le Parisien. "The fans welcomed me in the best possible way. From my first appearance for the warm-up, I heard songs. I've got a very good relationship with the fans, just like all the players."
Icardi also has a good relationship with Cavani.
"Edi and I have a good relationship on and off the pitch. He's a great guy. He's the type of person who'll always be missed," said the former Inter Milan captain, who saw Cavani as a partner rather than a rival for a place in Thomas Tuchel's team.
"When I start a game, I try to give what I can. Edi did the same. That's all that matters. Nothing is easy when it comes to building a squad, but the atmosphere is created with that sort of professional attitude. We all have to be exemplary."