The Uruguay striker has featured sparingly since extending his stay at Old Trafford, but there should be no question marks over his application at a tough time for Man Utd
When it comes to opportunities on the pitch, few have suffered more from Manchester United’s busy summer than Edinson Cavani.
The Uruguay striker endeared himself to United supporters last season, scoring 10 goals in his last 11 games and earning himself an extension to his deal with the Premier League club, but has made just one start since the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho increased competition in attack.
Even while he’s been restricted to cameos, though, the veteran has given his all for the team, demonstrating his worth to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer .
With Solskjaer facing increasing pressure as we approach the upcoming international break, Cavani has – in his words and his actions – shown how big a part he can still play for club and manager during a crunch period for United.
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Upon putting pen to paper on his new deal, Cavani made all the right noises about his relationship with United and with Solskjaer.
“I have developed a great affection for the club and everything that it represents,” the 34-year-old said.
“From the very first moment that I arrived, I felt the confidence of the manager. As a player, this belief gives you the perfect opportunity to play your best football and I want to thank him for that.”
The former PSG man is a goalscorer first and foremost, just like his current manager was in a Man Utd shirt.
Cavani ended last season with 17 goals in all competitions, including one in the final of the Europa League as United were beaten on penalties by Villarreal.
This season he has been forced to work hard both inside and outside the area, though, and there have been moments when he has been able to really show his worth.
While most of Cavani’s chances this season have come from the bench, he has ensured he is ready to contribute in any scenario.
Most notably, it was he who chased down Juan Foyth in the Champions League group stage victory over Villarreal, muscling the defender off the ball and keeping things alive in the build-up to Ronaldo’s late winner.
Other players might have lost the ball and seen a lost cause, but Cavani’s persistence and willingness to fight for the team paid dividends.
Even against Liverpool, when Cavani came on with his team trailing 5-0, there were signs of a man who wasn’t prepared to phone things in.
Things might have been over as a contest, but he certainly hadn’t given up on his manager after being trusted to restore some pride.
It may be time for Solskjaer to repay some of that faith, as United chase the results which could be pivotal in determining the Norwegian’s future.