Edinson Cavani left PSG in July and has been a free agent ever since. After a move to Benfica failed to materialise in the form of being a done deal, the Uruguayan became a target for many of Europe’s top sides. And, it’s Manchester United who have won the race to sign the striker.
It’s been somewhat of a strange transfer window at Old Trafford, with Donny van de Beek the only new arrival so far. They’ve been trying to do a deal for Borussia Dortmund and England star Jadon Sancho, and a striker has remained on their list of priorities. Football pundits, fans and bookmakers have all been focused on young English player leaving mainland Europe and coming to Manchester. However, recent developments emphasise just how fast paced this area of football is and the impact it subsequently brings. This is especially the case for bookies, who were hoping to recoup some of their losses this year on a busy summer market. When we spoke to our contact David, marketing manager of Party Casino and their soon-to-be live sports betting service, he explained that with many clubs left struggling to meet big-money buyout clauses, the volume of exciting youth deals moving clubs between the Championship and Premiership, let alone internationally, helped to provide a new lease of betting markets to the bookmakers.
Many will see Cavani’s arrival as a positive, but does it indicate that panic has set in? And, can the player deliver the goods when required, in what will be the fourth country he has played in?
Cavani, 33, is undoubtedly no longer at the peak of his powers. He’s heading towards the end of his career. But, United aren’t signing him to start every game. He more than likely joins to add a different option in the attacking department, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer able to call on the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Odion Ighalo.
Edinson’s goalscoring record more than speaks for itself. In five hundred and fifty-six outings, the Uruguayan has netted on three hundred and forty-one occasions, while weighing in with sixty-five assists. It’s a phenomenal record, which stands up against the very best, and it looks even better when you take into account his minutes on the pitch. In terms of minutes played, he contributes directly to a goal every 1.17 games. It’s a fantastic achievement considering his career spans over thirteen years at the top level.
Cavani’s last season at PSG was the indicator that it’s no longer feasible for him to be relied upon to play week in week out and score the goals at a top-level club. He made twenty-two appearances in all competitions, scoring seven times and making three goals for teammates. He was, however, plagued with injury and fitness problems throughout, which saw the season become stop-start for the Uruguay legend.
In many respects, the man who dominated the goalscoring charts in Serie A and Ligue 1, became an option from the bench. Or for when the team needed rotating. And, that’s the role he will undoubtedly go on to play at Old Trafford on a short term deal. Solskjaer can call on him when United need a goal or something different in attack, and he can do himself and the club justice. There is no doubt about that. And let’s not forget when United last tried something like this. They brought Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the club. He scored twenty-nine goals and made ten assists in fifty-three games. A stunning return for a player a year older than Cavani. And a sign that the Uruguayan joining is a wise short term fix.