January 22, 2020
Following the news that Marcus Rashford is set to be side-lined until at least March with a double stress fracture in his back, Manchester United are suddenly without their top goal scorer. Rashford’s goals have carried United this season, especially in the big games, and now he is set to miss vital league matches away at Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur as United fight for a top four position.
Anthony Martial has an impressive strike rate of nearly a goal every two games with 11 in 24, while Mason Greenwood is nearly in double figures himself. However, it’s clear that the Reds need reinforcements. Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani has recently handed in a transfer request at the French champions and with his valuation seemingly cheap at around €20 million, United must consider taking a chance on the 32-year-old Uruguayan. PSG sporting director Leonardo recently confirmed that Cavani is unlikely to stay.
“We had a proposal from Atletico Madrid. We did not have a proposal worthy of the player’s worth (But) I’m not sure he will be here in February.”
Despite only scoring just two league goals this season so far, Cavani certainly has an impressive track record, unbelievably scoring over 100 goals in just three years at Napoli and scoring nearly 200 in nearly seven years in Paris, despite competing against the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappe for the limelight. Cavani was top scorer twice in both Serie A and Ligue 1 and not only brings a vast amount of club experience but also international experience, with over 100 caps for his country, scoring in the last three FIFA World Cups.
His stats speak for himself and with the need for a striker and with the low transfer fee being bounded about, the deal seems on the surface a no-brainer. However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his staff may be wary of Cavani’s intentions and if he would want to join. Whether Solskjaer would turn his back on his long-term cultural reboot to solve a short-term problem will be the deciding factor in the club making a move.
Not only have the club seen many superstar names fail to live up to expectation over the years but if Cavani was to join and not perform, he would be on a long list of South American players who haven’t made the grade at Old Trafford. There are also concerns over Cavani’s attitude that may worry figures at the club. In January of 2015, Cavani was fined by former United centre half and then Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc for missing a mid-season training camp.
Cavani has also previously clashed with Neymar over penalty duties. His miss against Lyon in 2017 after he had grabbed the ball from the Brazilian resulted in a dressing room bust up. There’s no doubt that although Solskjaer has said he may be tempted into targeting players on a short-term basis, he will still want any players brought into the club to have the right attitude.
If the Reds were to go for Cavani, he could either be inspirational like Ibrahimović or unsettling like Angel Di Maria. Even though he could be a trouble maker, he is in no uncertain terms a top-class striker and with just a week remaining in the transfer window, United are certainly now desperate for one.
Written by Alex Metcalfe