After Manchester United signed him last summer, there were mixed perceptions of whether Edinson Cavani would be a good addition for The Red Devils and it seemed like the type of signing that they were trying to steer clear of.
At 33 years of age, many thought that the veteran striker was coming to Manchester for a pay-day, but it seems pretty clear that there is still fire in the belly of the Uruguayan.
With 10 goals to his name this season so far, Cavani has proved his worth to the side and provided many good performances, no better than his 45 minute cameo against Southampton in the Premier League back in November.
After coming off the bench for Mason Greenwood at half-time, United were 2-0 down to the Saints, but Cavani scored twice and assisted once in the second half in order to secure a 3-2 win for his side.
With good contribution to the team on and off the field it seems a surprise that Cavani’s contract for next season is not already done and dusted, however, the striker has his doubts about staying in England and could prefer a move back to South America.
In a locked-down country and having his season interrupted by injuries and a ban, it is understandable that Cavani hasn’t enjoyed his first year at United, but there are multiple reasons that the club should do all they can to get their experienced striker to sign the extension.
The experience he brings
At 33 years of age, Cavani has won countless trophies and scored bags of goals. The forward knows where the back of the net is and second-to-none regarding his movement in and around the box.
He has already proved to help players such as Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford, and often gives them advice about their final third play.
We only have to go back to last week, against Spurs, when Cavani told Greenwood to release his passes to him quicker – as there was space to be exploited. Less than five minutes later, the Uruguayan scored a diving header to put United into the lead, courtosy of a first-time Mason Greenwood cross.
Solskjaer has said that Cavani is helping in this department a lot and another year will only aid the younger players more and more.
The transfer market
It is common knowledge to United supporters that the club need at least two or three more top players in order to provide a real title challenge and compete at the highest level in Europe, however, if Cavani leaves the club, it is likely that strengthening another position will have to make way for a new striker.
While Greenwood has shown promise, it would be ludicrous to make him United’s main striker, and it seems that Anthony Martial’s form does not place him in good stead to hold the position for an entire season currently.
It would be more than likely that Solskjaer would have to dip into the market to acquire a top centre-forward. This would hinder the chances of United finally strengthening their right-wing with the possible signing of Jadon Sancho or another top winger. It’d also be unlikely that they’d splash the cash on a top defensive midfielder.
An extra year of Edinson Cavani would mean that United could focus on strengthening areas elsewhere and then go back into the market for a centre-forward in 2022, when a certain Erling Haaland’s release clause is activated.
It’s Edinson Cavani
The third reason that United should aim to keep Edinson Cavani is… that he is Edinson Cavani.
The former-PSG man has been the third highest goalscorer from 2010 to 2020, and you’ll be able to guess the two players ahead of him.
A proven goalscorer, who has shown that he can still perform at a high level for United, being the first United number seven to score 10 goals in a season since Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cavani still has a tremendous workrate at the age of 33 and does not rely on pace, but his movement and know-how inside of the area, which suggests that he will continue to play at a solid level for at least another year.
With some of the best striker’s movement in the world, alongside his passion, drive and workrate for his team, it is clear that Cavani will play an important part on the pitch if he is to extend his stay at Old Trafford.
Give it, give it, give it to Edi Cavani!
Finally, although Cavani has had the courtesy to play for United at Old Trafford 16 times this season, not one of them had fans inside of the stadium.
With an incredible chant, an iconic celebration, as well as the passion previously mentioned, it is doubtless that Cavani would be a fan-favourite among the match-going fans.Embed from Getty Images
Cavani has not had the best year, with injuries and off-the-pitch struggles in a new country. Yet, if he had heard the roar of the Old Trafford faithful after he scored at the Stretford End, I am sure that he would be more inclined to stay at the club.
Hopefully he will get to have that experience.