Edinson Cavani joined Manchester United this summer on a one-year contract with the option to extend for another year. He was a free agent for all summer but Manchester United signed him only on the last day of the transfer window.
Due to this, many pundits termed his arrival as a ‘panic buy‘. Manchester United failed to sign Jadon Sancho in the summer. The club was rumoured to be after his signature but failed to meet Borussia Dortmund’s valuation of the player. This allowed pundits and media to point fingers at Man United’s transfer policy.
Many questions were raised about whether Edinson Cavani could perform at the age of 33. They believed that the club required someone who they can rely on for future seasons as well. Even after all the criticism, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was persistent that Cavani could emulate the success which Zlatan Ibrahimovic achieved during his stay at Old Trafford.
Ibrahimovic joined the Red Devils at the age of 36. Many believed that the veteran striker has passed his prime and will be nothing but a liability for Man United’s attack.
His performances and winning mentality guided the youngsters like Marcus Rashford to develop. He went on to win Europa League and League Cup with the Red Devils before moving to MLS. Cavani is a similar type of player. Solskjaer believed his experience and football brain can help this young Man United crop to take a shape.
Successful six months for Edinson Cavani
Yes, we have seen very little of Edinson Cavani since his time at Man United but that does not take away the effect he has had on the squad. Solskjaer, Maguire, and Pogba, three of them have been vocal about his qualities in the training sessions.
“He’s so meticulous and professional with his habits, everything about him shows why he’s had the career he’s had and, at the age he’s now, he’s still one of the fittest players we’ve got.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Uruguay international has featured in 13 Premier League games but nine of them have come as a substitute. He already has four goals to his name along with two assists in the domestic league.
His best performance for United came against Southampton this season. Manchester United were two goals behind at the half-time when Cavani was introduced as a substitute. He scored a brace, including a 92nd-minute winner, to help Man United take the three points.
More than his goal contributions, Edinson Cavani has been praised for his work rate. He runs tirelessly to regain the ball possession from the opposition. His high pressing tactics at the age of 33, motivate the youngsters around him to press along with him.
Many times we have seen Cavani not shying away from defending. He drops deep to collect the ball which gives players like Rashford and Martial to run into open space. After an embarrassing defeat against Sheffield United, the Red Devils had to make a trip to the Emirates to lock horns with Arsenal.
Solskjaer needs to start Edinson Cavani upfront. He will provide that focal point that can battle with the likes of David Luiz. The Red Devils need to make a statement that the performance against Sheffield United was just a blip.