Cavani is ideal transfer for Man Utd as Solskjaer desperately needs stars who will always put in a shift
5th October 2020

It is hardly surprising that Manchester United’s attempts to sign Brazilian left back Alex Telles have taken until the end of the transfer window.

This is the way that Porto, his Portuguese club, operate, playing poker in a quest to buy low and sell high.


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But if United really wanted Edinson Cavani, then the Uruguayan striker would have been at Old Trafford some time ago.

In this case there was no other club to complicate matters – just the aim of a veteran player to make his last contract in top level European football a good one.

Others were frightened off by his demands. United, it seems, have panicked and grabbed the last thing on the shelves in the final shopping day before Christmas.

Cavani’s gamble has paid off. Running the risk of pricing himself out of the market, he has instead landed a top deal at a club that, for all its recent problems, remain a member of the global elite.

CRITICISM

The Cavani signing has led to criticisms – surely justified – of United’s recent recruitment policy.

But, however he got there and however badly the deal has been handled, it would be unwise to dismiss the chances of Cavani making an impact at Old Trafford.

He struck me as a kind of player I had never seen before – a box to box centre forward

Some are pointing to his age – Cavani is closer to 34 than 33 – and there are also complaints about the lack of precision in his finishing, that he can need three chances to score a goal.

There is something in this, and he is certainly not a signing for the long term.

But a glance at his CV makes it very clear that Cavani is quality, with a consistent track record with Palermo, Napoli and Paris Saint Germain as well as 50 goals for the Uruguayan national team.

And anyone who has accompanied his career will have noted that
Cavani is a player who never fails to put in a good shift.

HARD WORK PAYS OFF

I first saw him at the start of 2007, playing for Uruguay in the South American Under-20 Championships.

It was a gruelling competition – nine games in three weeks in the fierce summer sun of Paraguay.

But even towards the end of the last game, Cavani was charging back into his own half to help out with the marking.

He struck me as a kind of player I had never seen before – a box to box centre forward.

At the start of the tournament the spotlight was on his strike partner Elias Figueroa, who had been a star at Under-17 level.

Come the end it was clear that Cavani was the one with the future and that spirit of sacrifice and willingness to work has been a part of the story.

For Uruguay he spent years playing third fiddle to Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez.

It was not a problem. He would play from the left wing, getting up into the penalty area when he could, dropping back to mark when he had to.


And since the passing of Forlan, Cavani has done some of the spadework for Suarez.

Uruguay coach Oscar Washington Tabarez describes Cavani as the perfect son in law.

This is why Cavani could be a good fit for United. In the club’s current predicament, especially after Sunday’s 6-1 capitulation against Tottenham, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer does not only need good players. He needs characters.

Whatever the financial aspect of the deal might say, on the pitch and in the dressing room Edinson Cavani is a giver, not a taker, and United could do with as many of them as possible.

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