After the departures of Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku final summer time, Manchester United gave the impression to be a bit quick within the attacking division.
Anthony Martial moved right into a centre ahead position, Marcus Rashford settled in on the left facet of the assault, and Daniel James arrived from Swansea Metropolis to occupy the best flank till the emergence of Mason Greenwood.
Depth throughout the entrance line remained problematic, although.
In January, United have been scrambling to signal a back-up striker. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needed one other physique to rotate into his beginning 11 and after a irritating window, the membership settled on Odion Ighalo.
The six-month mortgage deal was largely ridiculed. Ighalo’s solely Premier League expertise had include Watford and he had not performed in a high Europan league since he departed for China in 2017.
Regardless of this, the Nigerian proved vastly worthwhile. He stepped in for Martial in Europa League matches, scored objectives within the FA Cup, and prolonged his keep till January 2021 to make sure United had cowl in assault.
However, whereas Ighalo has undoubtedly been helpful at Outdated Trafford, it might be naive for the Reds to navigate a complete season with the Nigerian as their second-choice ahead.
The place Manchester Metropolis have Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero and Chelsea have Tammy Abraham, Olivier Giroud and Timo Werner, United are counting on a 31-year-old former Watford striker to enhance their frontline.
The disparity in high quality between the beginning and reserve choices is illustrated by Solskjaer’s choice selections.
Within the latter phases of final season, he hardly ever rotated, pushing his gamers to the brink of exhaustion. He persistently waited to make his substitutions, understanding that whoever he introduced in represented a drop in attacking menace.
United, then, want a second-choice striker of calibre, high quality, and with a confirmed goalscoring document, somebody who can carry out in Martial’s stead all through an arduous and distinctive season.
With this in thoughts, United are set to signal free agent Edinson Cavani, who left Paris Saint-Germain on the finish of the 2019/20 Ligue 1 season after his contract expired.
Cavani is now 33 years previous and was not a daily starter for PSG final time period following the arrival of Mauro Icardi and Neymar and Kylian Mbappe because the French membership’s different key attacking items.
Nevertheless, the Uruguayan would arrive at Outdated Trafford with a fame and historical past that implies he could possibly be the perfect deputy for Martial.
Before everything, Cavani is a confirmed goalscorer. In his final 4 Ligue 1 campaigns, he struck 85 occasions in 103 matches. That’s a formidable document, one which if he may preserve can be invaluable for United.
Dig a bit deeper, although, and the numbers are much more eye-catching.
Cavani scored solely 4 league objectives in 14 appearances final time period, however throughout these 14 video games, he performed solely 609 minutes. That yields a objective each 152 minutes.
Martial struck 17 objectives in 2,640 minutes final time period, a objective each 155.29 minutes. Cavani, then, netted on the similar fee as Martial, who loved his greatest season since transferring to Outdated Trafford in 2015.
Ighalo, in distinction, made 11 Premier League appearances in 2019/20, totalling 90 minutes, and didn’t rating a single objective.
He did notch 5 occasions in 539 minutes throughout the FA Cup and Europa League, however you’d count on a striker of Cavani’s calibre and expertise to match that fee towards lesser opponents.
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Cavani can also be a much more polished ahead than Ighalo.
Even at 33, his motion off the ball is phenomenal. He has typically been criticised for his wayward ending, however he creates alternatives for himself due to his consciousness and anticipation.
The Uruguayan additionally works extraordinarily onerous out of possession. He chases down misplaced causes, is a prepared runner into the channels, and is a nuisance for opposing centre-backs. He by no means provides them a second’s peace.
Cavani has each the body and athleticism to carry up the ball together with his again to objective, one thing that Ighalo does excellently, and make runs off the ball. He’s a extra rounded, prolific, and skilled.
Cavani’s age prohibits him from a long-term answer for United, however as a substitute for Martial, he supplies the Reds with that much-needed attacking high quality.