Edinson Cavani is a proven elite goal scorer. But can he prove it again at Manchester United, or is he just another big name signing by the board?
New Manchester United signing, Edinson Cavani, has proved himself to be one of the most prolific goal scorers in the world. He is the 4th highest scoring player in Europe spanning the last decade, as he scored 309 goals in 474 appearances; his record was only beaten by Messi with 522 goals in 521 appearances, Ronaldo with 477 goals in 489 appearances, and Lewandowski with 324 goals in 454 appearances.
The Uruguayan comes to Manchester from Paris, where he became the all-time leading goal scorer for PSG, as he scored 200 goals in 301 appearances during his time in the French capital.
Cavani, 33 years old, is one of five summer signings for Manchester United, as he is joined by Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles, Facundo Pellistri, and Amad Diallo Traoré (joins in January). Even though United desperately needed another centre-back, the transfer window is over, and we, the fans, should support the players that were brought in, whether you fancy them or not.
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Now, in terms of how the new players fit into the squad: Luke Shaw will give Alex Telles a good run for his money, but the Brazilian will ultimately earn the staring role at left back. We have already seen a glimpse of Donny Van de Beek’s role, as he seems to be a depth player for Pogba and Fernandes, but he could easily slot into a starting XI.
We would expect both Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo Traoré to be squad players, but would also be pleasantly surprised if either one earns a spot in the starting XI; as for Edinson Cavani, his place in the squad could go a few different ways.
Even though Cavani is an older player, it is important to remember that he is one of Europe’s most prolific goal scorers and he deserves respect. Last season made it clear that United were paper thin up top, so the Uruguayan checks the box for increasing the squad depth. He will be ahead of Odion Ighalo in the pecking order, who is already a squad player.
This is where the addition of Cavani is interesting; not only was he given the number 7 shirt, but he also has a very strong case for the starting position up top. Now, Martial had a very good season last campaign as the main man up top, but he can still do a job on the wing.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær could easily stick with the same starting XI that we finished with last season in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Martial leading the line, which would leave Cavani to be nothing more than an option off the bench.
However, with the team clearly struggling just a month into the new season, it may be time to try alternatives. There are 2 main options: Alternative 1, stick with the same 4-2-3-1 formation and play Cavani up top and move Martial out to the wing, or Alternative 2, try a 4-4-2 formation with Cavani and Martial forming a striking partnership with Rashford and Greenwood out wide.
With Martial suspended for 3 league games, it may be the perfect opportunity to give Cavani an opportunity to lead the line. The decision is ultimately up to Ole, but with increasing pressure from the board, it may behove him to try some new tactics given the recent 6-1 beating from José Mourinho’s Tottenham. Cavani will also be out for blood against his former club, PSG, when we face them in the UEFA Champions League next Tuesday, October 20th.