Eyebrows had been raised when Manchester United signed Edinson Cavani in the last hours of deadline day again in October.
Was this bloke – an ageing, damage susceptible veteran whom had by no means performed a single minute in England in his life – actually the reply to United’s striker points?
After all, we had been alleged to be an rising younger facet with an rising younger supervisor constructing for the future. But but right here we had been once more – landed with a crocked, washed up and previous it 34-year-old given the no.7 shirt – an iconic quantity solely reserved for greatness – and heralded as Old Trafford’s new figurehead as the point of interest of the assault.
You needed to ask questions. Had this membership discovered nothing from the final time we signed an ageing massive title South American striker along with his finest years behind him and a questionable damage file? The Radamel Falcao signing ought to have been all the proof wanted to steer properly away from such conditions. We all understand how Falcao labored out…
You couldn’t assist however really feel the signing of Cavani had the grubby fingerprints of the board throughout it – as traditional, this appeared a call to swell the coffers, push “model United” to a brand new stage and to spice up shirt gross sales and industrial income. It appeared to epitomise the membership’s flawed switch coverage, a big gamble taken with a scarcity of joined up considering and with out planning aforethought.
But but seven months on from being written off as previous it, over the hill and an eleventh hour panic purchase which reeked of desperation, Cavani is now idolised by way of a chant that has gone viral on social media. A chant he might but get to listen to belted out from the Stretty at a packed out Old Trafford as followers return subsequent season. “Give it, give it, give to Edi Cavani, give him the ball and watch him rating the targets”.
I’ve a sense the Old Trafford devoted would completely adore the man merely often known as “El Matador.”
Everyone at United – gamers, followers and supervisor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – have seemingly constructed such an affinity with the striker from Salto, a lot in order that retaining him right here all of a sudden looks like a no brainer.
There might have been frustration at occasions because it’s appeared Cavani’s warning over his physique left him to make himself unavailable and solely play when he felt prefer it, however when he’s wholesome he carries the vim, vigour and infectious enthusiasm that put go away a number of of his youthful compatriots (wanting at you Anthony Martial), to disgrace. Off the area, issues haven’t all the time gone as easily with Cavani struggling to adapt to life in Britain and the good ol’ English climate in addition to being slapped with a three-game ban from the FA for an Instagram publish. No offence was supposed, however the participant used a time period which might be thought of racist and so the powers-that-be sanctioned him. All this, and an image begins to construct of a person maybe sad in Manchester.
But simply when the curtain had seemingly coming down on his transient Old Trafford epitaph, there might properly but be an surprising encore – he has achieved what all the finest performers do – saved the finest till final and left you wanting extra. I’ll fortunately admit I used to be incorrect relating to Cavani – the Falcao debacle had taught me to watch out relating to extolling massive title international signings. But for each Radamel, you additionally generally get a Zlatan. But, while Cavani’s impression hasn’t been as seismic as his former PSG strike accomplice Ibrahimovic’s, credit score ought to nonetheless be afforded the place it’s due. He might properly find yourself emulating Ibrahimovic by ending the marketing campaign – what might be his just one at OT – with a European winner’s medal. Much like Zlatan, Cavani has additionally been credited with serving to to develop a really youthful and rough-around-the-edges United assault. He has definitely achieved sufficient to dispel this specific doubting Thomas.
His efficiency towards Roma was his most interesting for the Reds to date, and got here off the again of a string of spectacular showings towards Burnley, Granada and Tottenham.
He was merely majestic towards the Romans – at occasions, it was a masterclass, an exhibition and a clinic of centre-forward play. His brace took him to 12 for the season and 5 in as many video games, however – past merely sticking the ball away – his defence splitting passes, hyperlink up play, urgent and work-rate had all the hallmarks of a grasp at work and the Serie A facet merely had no reply. He doesn’t simply merely burst the web, he terrorises defences, his passing is excellent and he’s the very definition of the striker’s previous adage of: “proper place proper time.”
In this contemporary period of the false 9, the sweeper keeper, the CAM, the six, the eight, and the inverted winger, out and out no.9s are an more and more uncommon breed – even the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Luis Suarez are thought of “deep mendacity” – however Cavani has proved the artwork of the archetypal purpose poacher is much from dying out.
Whilst Martial had his finest season in entrance of targets for the Reds final time period – 23 for the marketing campaign – regardless of lacking over three months by way of damage – he merely doesn’t provide what Cavani can and has considerably regressed since the arrival of the Uruguayan. Martial has by no means reacted properly to competitors and a cursory look at his numbers inform you every little thing – solely seven targets in 36 video games from a person who professes to be the essential striker at Manchester United.
Forget spending £100m on Harry Kane, Erling Haaland or another elite-level striker, in Edinson Cavani Manchester United have already got one.
Read extra: Adidas aggravated over Manchester United ESL involvement & decline in shirt gross sales