‘He’s been unbelievable’ – Priceless Cavani brings more to Man Utd than goals

The Uruguayan’s form in the run-in has been impeccable, and after committing his future to the Red Devils, he can offer as much off the field as on it.

There are some things money cannot buy for all the talk of summer transfer budgets and the constraints imposed after another season impacted by Covid-19.

Edinson Cavani’s adventure has attracted Manchester United’s forward line is priceless, together with his choice to remain with the club for another year, one who has saved United millions that summer.

Speak to anybody in the club, and they can chat about Cavani’s impressive goalscoring record, for example, ten target involvements in his past seven matches. Still, the very first thing that gets mentioned is the way he’s instructing those around him.

“In the last month or so, he’s been unbelievable,” Luke Shaw told Sky Sports after United’s 3-1 Premier League win away to Aston Villa. “Not just the goals but the experience he brings to the team and the younger players.

“He pushes them a lot and hopefully he can keep doing that towards the end of the season.”

United’s first-half functionality at Villa Park abandoned them, crying out to the Uruguay global. They repeatedly lacked that focal point up high that has been accurate in lots of the matches when Cavani hasn’t featured.

Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood were shifting between the fundamental striker place, but they frequently drifted out into the wings or feel too heavy. Both of them are top-level forward but, now in time, have honed their craft as actual No.9s.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is Cavani.

His conclusion is equally as clinical as possible imagine getting a 34-year-old who has performed at the maximum level for 17 decades, but it’s his motion on a different plane.

On Sunday, his aim of the seat was a perfect illustration, as he darted between Matty Cash and Ezri Konsa to get towards the end of an excellent cross from Rashford.

It was an elite finish, but his vision and movement took the breath away.

“He’s the centre forward you want in the box. His movement is incredible and it’s something everyone can learn from,” manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said in the past.

Greenwood does not have much to learn when it comes to finishing. That might be a big statement to make on behalf of just 19, but his goal on Sunday further added to that argument.

He threw Tyrone Mings off with ease after a jinking turn before finishing at the near post. It was his 16th Premier League goal and made him the highest goalscoring teenager in its history.

Although his finishing is not questioned, both he and Rashford can learn from what Cavani does in the box. 

The prior Paris Saint-Germain celebrity does the ball off that adds to United’s attacking play. He knows exactly how to time his runs, the way to play the guardian’s shoulder and shed his mark, and the way to drag the resistance throughout the box to provide his teammates more distance.

Add to this, and his eyesight is next to none.

They’re all characteristics he has heard over almost two years of playing top-notch football. So while big-money amounts are thrown around to the likes of Erling Haaland and Harry Kane – both of which are an excellent match in United’s system – Cavani includes a degree of experience which neither of these may bring.

While there is a genuine belief that Greenwood has a long career ahead as a No.9, he needs to learn from Cavani while he can.

“He’s learning on the job which is not easy. It’s difficult and he’s had to bear a lot of responsibility and he’s popped up with so many important goals for us,” Solskjaer said.

“The kid just turns the game around in one split second and the goal against Villa was excellent, so I’m delighted that he’s got back to his goalscoring best and he’s learning more and more all the other bits as well.”

You can see why Solskjaer has done everything he can to persuade him to stay, despite his apparent wish to return to South America. 

Cavani’s goal involvements are vital, but his influence on the training ground is just as important.

He is the master teaching the apprentices, and another year of that is priceless for Solskjaer’s long-term plan.