Will Cavani bring valuable experience to the United squad?

Edinson Cavani has been a fantastic addition to the strongest United squad we have seen since the early 2010s.

The 34 year-old Uruguayan is known for his clever attacking positioning, finishing ability and aerial prowess.

Since his debut in professional football in 2006, Cavani has played for some of Europe’s most renowned clubs. Starting off his career at Palermo, he moved to Napoli in 2010, enjoying a fantastic 3 years at the South Italian side. He moved to the French giants PSG, scoring a multitude of goals in 6 years.

In his illustrious club career, Cavani has made 574 appearances, netting an unbelievable 346 goals and providing 67 assists.

Cavani sits second in Uruguay’s all-time goal scoring list with 49 goals in 114 appearances. He joins ex-United Legend Diego Forlan and former Liverpool star Luis Suarez at the top of the list.

Edinson Cavani pictured with United Legend Diego Forlan during the 2014 World Cup. Source: marca.com

Of course, ‘el Matador’ transferred to United in the Summer Transfer Window of 2020 on a free transfer. He has signed a one-year contract with an option to extend it another 12 months.

Role-Model

United’s squad is the youngest in the Premier League, with an average of 25.2 years.

Future stars such as Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, alonside Daniel James and Anthony Martial will all benefit from Cavani’s introduction to the squad.

Greenwood was dubbed the ‘best finisher’ at the club. Since Cavani’s introduction, it is clear that the Uruguayan is a different class.

Cavani will be very influential in Rashford’s and Greenwood’s development into top-class players.

Following United’s 3-2 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup, featuring Greenwood and Rashford on the score sheet, Cavani will have played a major part in their improved composure in front of goal.

Cavani celebrating Greenwood’s equaliser against Liverpool on Sunday evening. Source: manchestereveningnews.co.uk

It is not just our forward players that Cavani will help improve. He seems to have built a strong relationship with frenchman Paul Pogba who is currently playing some of his best football in a United Shirt.

What caught the eye of many United fans was how, prior to our away group stage match against PSG, Cavani was seen to be giving Tuanzebe crucial information in a training session.

It is certainly not a coincidence that our young English centre-back Axel Tuanzebe played his best ever match. Up against one of the world’s best attackers Kylian Mbappe, Tuanzebe seemed in absolute control. He was a key player in a great 2-1 win against Cavani’s old club.

Goal-scorer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a very prolific goalscorer in his career at United, will have certainly struck a chord with Cavani. Similar in their playstyles, clever attacking runs with lethal finishing ability.

Although Cavani will make a significant impact on the younger players’ development, the Uruguayan was also brought in to score goals for United.

In 18 appearances so far for United, he has netted 4 goals and provided 2 assists.

Solskjaer stated on Cavani’s arrival: “He’ll bring energy, power, leadership and a great mentality to the squad but, most importantly, he’ll bring goals.”

Cavani scored the winner in an important league game against Southampton. He scored twice and assisted one in this great 3-2 comeback. Source: talksport.com

Cavani’s match fitness was in doubt by plenty of pundits and fans after he signed for United. He had not played for PSG for 7 months before his departure, significantly lacking match fitness and sharpness.

However, Cavani spent time at the National Ballet School in Uruguay, keeping up fitness for his football career but also to break stereotypes around ballet. (Talksport)

Experience

As previously mentioned, Cavani brings a wealth of experience to a relatively inexperienced United squad.

Although Martial, Rashford, James and Greenwood possess talent, they lack a poachers instinct which Cavani certainly has.

It is a trait found in some of the United great forwards; Solskjaer, Van Nistlerooy, Ronaldo, Rooney, Yorke and Cole.

What our current forwards have is brilliant pace and skill, which allows them to get in behind and beat players, but Cavani will help them develop an extra part to their game.

We saw in the match at Fulham that Cavani’s footballing mind is far superior to the likes of Martial and James.

Our number 7 scored the equaliser against Fulham, pouncing on Areola’s fumble. Source: sportinglife.com

When Fernandes’ cross was whipped in, Cavani instantly anticipated a mistake from the keeper and found a great postition to pass it into the net.

Greenwood and Rashford will significant improve their game if they develop their attacking postitioning with the help of the Uruguayan.

After United’s win against Liverpool, OGS was asked what Edinson Cavani brings to the squad. Solskjaer answered: “all our forwards have to use this time that Edinson’s with us to the best effect, you’ve gotta learn off his movement…attitude…desire to win”.

Cavani has proved himself so far as an extremely hard-working centre-forward, winning the ball back high-up the pitch.

We’ve seen in recent years that Rashford has become more clinical in front of goal, with the help of OGS, he has gained more composure in front of goal. Cavani will help Rashford improve this area of his game further.

Legacy

Cavani joins a plethora of more experienced United strikers who have helped United to domestic or European success.

We saw back in 2017 what the Swede Zlatan Ibramhimovic was able to bring to United’s squad. In his late 30s, he scored 29 goals for United in 53 appearances.

Michael Owen signed for Manchester United in 2009, although he only scored 17 goals in 3 years, he scored *that* goal against Manchester City in injury time to win the game.

Cavani will hope to contribute goals of great significance in his 1 or 2 year career at United. Source: manchestereveningnews.co.uk

Henrik Larsson, although he didn’t score a multitude of goals like Michael Owen, he is still remember as a cult hero, owing to the presence he had in the dressing room and helping United to a League Title in 2007.

Robin van Persie was signed towards the back-end of his career, although still played like one of the best players in the Premier League during his stint at United. He helped United win their 20th League Title in Ferguson’s final season. Ferguson stated: “In terms of impact, he has had as big an impact as anyone I can imagine” (Planet Football)

Cavani will be hoping to join the likes of these players in the history books of United.

Author: Ben Grenier

Aspiring sports journalist, Manchester United supporter. 18 years old taking my gap year, hoping to provide quality writing to gain experience. Twitter is @BrpGsports

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