Manchester United's Edinson Cavani celebrates scoring their second goal.(Pool via REUTERS)
Manchester United's Edinson Cavani celebrates scoring their second goal.(Pool via REUTERS)

Classy Cavani no longer looks like a ‘panic buy’ at United

After his outstanding performance at Southampton on Sunday, coming on at the break to create one goal and score two, including the late winner in a 3-2 comeback, the Uruguayan looks far from the washed-up player some suspected he might be.
By Reuters | MANCHESTER, England
UPDATED ON NOV 30, 2020 11:18 PM IST

When Edinson Cavani joined Manchester United on transfer deadline day in October it was widely described as a “panic signing” with the 33-year-old’s arrival viewed as a desperate deal by a club who had failed to get their main targets.

But after his outstanding performance at Southampton on Sunday, coming on at the break to create one goal and score two, including the late winner in a 3-2 comeback, the Uruguayan looks far from the washed-up player some suspected he might be.

His goals were superbly taken, his movement in the box won plaudits from his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and many observers and, even though it had only been 45 minutes, he looked far from a player past his sell-by date.

“For me, he’s one of those strikers that can smell the goal, as you saw twice,” said United midfielder Bruno Fernandes.

“He smelt the goal, you need to have this feeling to score these two goals. As I said some weeks and some months ago, Edi will help us and he is helping already.”

The question marks over Cavani were certainly justified though.

He was available on a free transfer -- and had been throughout the close season -- and many wondered why, if he really was a player United wanted, they had not signed him shortly after he left Paris St Germain.

The suspicion was that after failing to get Norway sriker Erling Haaland in the January window and then ultimately being unable to pull off a deal for his Borussia Dortmund team mate Jadon Sancho, United had, at the final hour, called Cavani’s agent just to add a forward of some kind to Solskjaer’s squad.

But for a United team that has plenty of attacking options with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood, but no real classic, out-and-out centre forward, Cavani looks much more than a useful option.

“They had Rashford and Greenwood there in the first half,” said BBC pundit Alan Shearer. “They may well end up being centre forwards, but that’s exactly what they lacked in the first half -- a proper number nine.”

PERFECT TIMING

Solskjaer, a goal-poacher under Alex Ferguson at United, has worked hard to get his young strikers to make the right runs in the box to find the crucial positions to score but he now has a player who needs no instruction in that art.

“Edinson has been around the block and scored so many goals and played football for so long. He’s been between those posts so many times, he’s seen this game before, he’s scored that goal before,” said Solskjaer.

“He knows exactly where to move and his best friend in the box is what Sir Alex always used to tell me: ‘Your best friend in the box is space’, and he gets into that space with perfect timing.”

Cavani, who scored 138 goals in 200 Ligue 1 matches for PSG and has 51 in 118 for Uruguay, has been given time to get up to speed after missing out on pre-season preparations but United skipper Harry Maguire was not surprised by his impact on Sunday.

“I am so pleased for him. He has been without a club for a few months so he is coming in and catching up. He’s a great professional, he’s great to have around the place, he’s great in the dressing room and you saw today what he brings to the club.

“His movement when the ball is wide is to a level that not many strikers can reach. He’s always on the move, always getting across people and that’s why he has always scored goals.”

Now Cavani must hope an FA investigation into his deleted social media post, which included a word with racial connotations, does not result in the Uruguayan being forced back to the sidelines.

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris)

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne Pool (Pool via REUTERS)
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne Pool (Pool via REUTERS)

De Bruyne out for up to six weeks due to injury, says Guardiola

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 08:49 PM IST
De Bruyne, 29, sustained what appeared to be a hamstring injury and was replaced on the hour mark at the Etihad Stadium in Wednesday's 2-0 Premier League win at home to Aston Villa.
Close
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane during the match (REUTERS)
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane during the match (REUTERS)

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has coronavirus

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 07:07 PM IST
The announcement came two days after Zidane coached the team in a 2-1 loss at third-tier Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey.
Close
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola(Pool via REUTERS)
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola(Pool via REUTERS)

Man City to use Cheltenham Town bar as changing room

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 03:57 PM IST
Asked what City's expensively assembled side would think of the Whaddon Road facilities, Duff told reporters: "I don't know, probably not a lot with the stadiums they play in every week.
Close
Soccer Football - Championship - Derby County v Rotherham United - Pride Park, Derby, Britain - January 16, 2021 Derby County manager Wayne Rooney before the match Action Images/Molly Darlington(Action Images)
Soccer Football - Championship - Derby County v Rotherham United - Pride Park, Derby, Britain - January 16, 2021 Derby County manager Wayne Rooney before the match Action Images/Molly Darlington(Action Images)

Fernandes and Cavani have made Manchester United contenders: Rooney

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 01:28 PM IST
The pair, who arrived last year, had also taken some of the pressure off Paul Pogba, allowing the French midfielder to play to his full potential, he added.
Close
Chelsea's head coach Frank Lampard waits for the VAR system to be reviewed by the referee during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Chelsea at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, (AP)
Chelsea's head coach Frank Lampard waits for the VAR system to be reviewed by the referee during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Chelsea at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, (AP)

Lampard deserves more time at Chelsea, says Arsenal's Arteta

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 01:23 PM IST
Lampard is under huge pressure at Chelsea after Tuesday's 2-0 loss to Leicester City saw them slip to eighth. They have now lost five of their last eight in the Premier League.
Close
Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp walks dejected following the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Burnley in Liverpool, England, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Burnley won the match 0-1.(AP Photo/Jon Super, Pool)(AP)
Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp walks dejected following the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Burnley in Liverpool, England, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Burnley won the match 0-1.(AP Photo/Jon Super, Pool)(AP)

Carragher fears league title 'slipping away' from Liverpool

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 12:32 PM IST
The champions suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat by Burnley on Thursday, their first loss at Anfield in the league in almost four years.
Close
Barcelona's Martin Braithwaite, second left, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Spanish Copa del Rey round of 32 soccer match between Cornella and FC Barcelona at the Nou Municipal stadium in Cornella,(AP)
Barcelona's Martin Braithwaite, second left, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Spanish Copa del Rey round of 32 soccer match between Cornella and FC Barcelona at the Nou Municipal stadium in Cornella,(AP)

Barca edge past minnows Cornella despite missing two penalties

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 08:40 AM IST
Barcelona missed two penalties in normal time, with midfielder Miralem Pjanic being thwarted late in the first half by Cornella keeper Ramon Juan before Dembele hit straight at the feet of the 21-year-old in the 80th minute from yet another spot-kick.
Close
Burnley's Ashley Barnes, right, runs to celebrate his goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Burnley in Liverpool, England, (AP)
Burnley's Ashley Barnes, right, runs to celebrate his goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Burnley in Liverpool, England, (AP)

Liverpool's 68-match unbeaten EPL home run ended by Burnley

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 08:03 AM IST
  • Ashley Barnes scored from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute after the forward was brought down by goalkeeper Alisson Becker as Burnley became the first team to win in the league at Anfield since April 2017.
Close
India national coach Igor Stimac.(AIFF)
India national coach Igor Stimac.(AIFF)

There will be lots of changes to the national team: Igor Stimac

By Dhiman Sarkar, Bhargab Sarmah
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 07:59 AM IST
  • Before he starts work with a preparatory camp likely to be in Dubai from March, Stimac spoke about why he is happy with what he has seen in ISL this season and more in this exclusive interview.
Close
Ronaldo scored his 760th career goal in Juve’s 2-0 Italian Supercup win over Napoli. (Getty Images)
Ronaldo scored his 760th career goal in Juve’s 2-0 Italian Supercup win over Napoli. (Getty Images)

Ronaldo yet to break all-time scoring record, Czech FA claims

Reuters
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 09:18 PM IST
  • The Czech Football Association has disputed claims that Cristiano Ronaldo broke the all-time goal-scoring record, insisting he needs another 62 to surpass Josef Bican’s tally.
Close
Sergio Aguero reacts. (Getty Images)
Sergio Aguero reacts. (Getty Images)

Man City striker Sergio Aguero tests positive for Covid-19

AP, Manchester, England
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 08:30 PM IST
  • Sergio Aguero had already been self-isolating after being identified as a close contact of someone infected.
Close
File photo of Mario Mandžukić(AP)
File photo of Mario Mandžukić(AP)

AC Milan means business with Mario Mandžukić signing

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:37 PM IST
Mario Mandžukić's signing this week is tantamount to a statement of title intentions. Hitherto having maintained that its goal was returning to the Champions League after a seven-year absence by securing only a top-four finish, Milan now appears firmly set on winning Serie A.
Close
Diogo Dalot of AC Milan in action. (Getty Images.)
Diogo Dalot of AC Milan in action. (Getty Images.)

'Demanding' Ibrahimovic boosts Dalot at Milan

AP, Madrid
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:21 PM IST
  • Dalot, 21, is at the heart of the defense of an AC Milan side which has been propelled to the top of the Italian league by the 39-year-old Ibrahimovic.
Close
Zinedine Zidane reacts after Real Madrid's 1-2 loss to Alcoyano. (Getty Images)
Zinedine Zidane reacts after Real Madrid's 1-2 loss to Alcoyano. (Getty Images)

Zidane under fire as Real Madrid loses again

AP, Madrid
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:15 PM IST
  • The embarrassing 2-1 loss in the round of 32 added to Madrid’s recent struggles and left Zidane under increased pressure.
Close
Football representational image(HT Image)
Football representational image(HT Image)

Football Delhi announces scholarship of U-16 players for college admission in US

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 03:04 PM IST
Each year, two talented footballers -- a junior boy and a girl -- will be identified based on their football and academic achievements for a scholarship.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP