WHO: Edinson Cavani
TO WHERE: Manchester United
GRADE FOR UNITED: (B-)
GRADE FOR CAVANI’S AGENTS: (A+)
For one moment, imagine being Manchester United. Imagine losing 1-6 to Tottenham Hotspur at home. Imagine being in dire need of new defenders. Now imagine resolving that problem by signing a 33-year-old, out-of-favour striker nobody else wanted to buy. That is exactly what has happened with United signing Edinson Cavani.
Now realistically speaking, Cavani is still a very good striker & a solid addition as a backup to Anthony Martial. With over 350 goals in his career, he’s an upgrade over Odion Ighalo & will score vital goals for us. But he is anything but a priority right now. With reportedly over €10m ($12m) wages in his pocket over 2 years, he’d happily sit on the bench and even take disappointments as they come – even though United would hope he stays injury-free & rediscovers his mojo from 5 years ago.
WHO IS HE?
The Uruguayan has been one of the most lethal strikers in Europe over the last decade, gaining his fame at Napoli. At Napoli, he scored 104 goals in 138 games (in all competitions). From there, he gained a big-money move to Paris-Saint Germain, where he scored 200 goals in 301 games. He’s scored 50 goals in over 100 appearances for Uruguay as well & won nearly every domestic trophy with PSG multiple times.
IS THE PRICE FAIR?
I mean he joined for free but is going to get £200,000 a week for majorly sitting on the bench. His agent also gets a huge fee for orchestrating this deal. A major win for him, not so much for United.
WHAT IMPACT SHOULD WE EXPECT?
When United sacked Jose Mourinho & brought Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on board, their ‘new philosophy’ was to recruit young, ambitious players and then aim for ‘long-term’ goals. Well, they’ve strayed quite further away from that here by signing a 33-year-old striker with his best goals presumably past him.
Regardless of his age & old legs, Cavani should still be an asset for this team. With his experience, he can help them compete and perhaps get that 3rd spot in their Champions League group stages. He does bring a lot of experience & leadership quality to a team which is in dire need of it.
For example, Cavani should have a positive influence on all three of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood & Martial. He could teach Rashford how to finish chances better, Greenwood a bit more composure around the final third & Martial how to pounce on opportunities and be more energetic. He should also work well with United’s midfielders.
Indeed, the likes of Bruno Fernandes & Paul Pogba will like to make those creative forward passes knowing the Uruguayan will be at the end of it. With his impressive off the ball movement, knowledge of how to beat his defender & positional sense, Cavani should be a refreshing alternative to Martial.
He’s definitely an upgrade over United’s current alternative striker, Ighalo, whose looked like a Sunday league player after the end of last season. As because he can’t dribble past defenders like Martial, isn’t the fastest anymore, Cavani will aim to make up with his intelligence. That means when United need a more direct attacking style as he’s a more old-school striker who can tough it out around the final third.
Even as a substitute, the Uruguayan is sharp & impactful enough to bring goals when United need them the most. If he’s rotated well and played in Cup games, he is lethal enough to score decisive ones to help United win one-off matches. But the biggest obstacle for Cavani will be to maintain fitness in a tough league like the Premier League, as it’s injury problems that drove him out of PSG.
Even if he can’t make the same kind of impact Zlatan Ibrahimovic did at United, Cavani will definitely score goals & add that extra bit of threat to United’s attack. But whether or not he can do it consistently or when it matters the most, remains to be seen.
Grade for Man United (B-)
For a free, a deadly striker like Cavani who will still score 10 or even 15+ goals a season if fit enough. He should be pretty good for cup games & even make an impact in the league with his experience and goal-scoring knowledge. But for United paying that much money to a player who does not reflect their ‘philosophy’ drags down this deal to a decent one.
Grade for Cavani’s agent (A+)
All summer long, Cavani was reportedly offered to the likes of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid & even BENFICA! They all rejected him because of his high wages, agent fees demands & injury prone stature. Just as things looked bad, his agent managed to get him this gem of a deal & has pocketed millions for himself. Can’t help but admire his brilliance to force this through.