Manchester United’s Cavani Conundrum
By Sam Collard
Edinson Cavani’s match-winning performance for Manchester United against Tottenham Hotspur certainly caught the eye for several reasons.
After having his first half strike ruled out, albeit not down to his actions, Cavani did not let his head drop, heading home Mason Greenwood’s deft cross to put the Red Devils ahead.
Yet, talk persists over his future at Old Trafford, despite stellar showings on the pitch, off it, there seems to be an heir of indecisiveness amongst both parties.
For Cavani, a heroic return to South America after being lauded in Europe is certainly of interest, with his Father even going as far as confirming interest in a move to Boca Juniors. Yet does he feel this is the time to make the step away from the “European Dream” which is touted amongst aspiring Latin American footballers?
"Cavani" by BalkanPhotos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
The stats show the forward still has much to offer, seven Premier League goals in 20 games, with many of those coming off the bench, his impact on the pitch leaves no question, however off it is where he has become so influential. As Cavani enters the closing chapters of his career, Mason Greenwood has barely written a page as his career gets underway, learning from an experienced pro with a glittering career such as Cavani could be a vital influence on the young forward.
Those within Old Trafford have made no secret of their admiration for the Uruguyan, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirming he would like to keep his number seven for another season, but does this show a lack of ambition for the club?
Manchester United clearly have ambitions to win the Premier League, yet to keep an over the hill striker around when Erling Haaland, and potentially Harry Kane are on the market, is this a sign that the club is accepting its fate as a club no longer amongst the elite? Edinson Cavani has already made more appearances for Manchester United than he did in his last season for Paris Saint-Germain, and in that season, the Parisians made it all the way to the Champions League final, yet his influence on the pitch was minimal, if Manchester United want to reach that level, should they be looking elsewhere?
Comparing Cavani to the other strikers at the club, he is the only natural out and out forward within the first team set-up, so if the club were to miss out on Haaland or Kane, keeping Cavani would be essential to success in 2021/22, so it ultimately becomes a case of stick or twist.
If the player were keen to stay, the safe option for the club is to keep him around, despite the hefty wage packet. However, letting the Uruguayan venture to pastures new will certainly be an intriguing prospect for Manchester United’s restructured hierarchy, would letting Cavani go allow them rubber stamp their mark at the club and make the marquee signing? Only time will tell.