The Red Devils legend hopes the experienced Uruguayan striker will stick around for another year to aid the development of Mason Greenwood
Gary Neville admits to fearing that Edinson Cavani would be another Radamel Falcao or Alexis Sanchez for Manchester United, but the Red Devils legend is now urging the experienced Uruguayan to stick around.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer moved to bolster his attacking ranks when plucking the prolific marksman out of the free agent pool in the summer of 2020.
United had seen their fingers burned by such deals in the past, with little value found in a couple of other South American forwards, but Cavani has thrived in England and Neville believes he has a vital role to play at Old Trafford if an expiring contract can be extended – with a summer move to Boca Juniors being mooted.
What has been said?
Former Red Devils defender Neville told Sky Sports after seeing Cavani find the target again in a 3-1 win over Spurs: “Tottenham had a throw with two minutes to go, and Cavani was moving between the centre-backs trying to stop the ball from being thrown in, and he’s organising where [Mason] Greenwood should be. I thought: ‘Greenwood needs another year of Cavani being alongside him’.
“It inspired us as young players when you saw great players like Bryan Robson and Steve Bruce and Eric Cantona and Mark Hughes. And you see the best players in the world, or those who have been the best in the world like Cavani, doing his work like that in the 94th minute, someone like Mason Greenwood, who needs people who are mentors, good standards above him, who can coach him on the pitch. I just thought him and Marcus Rashford need another year of Cavani.
“He’s been a really brilliant example. I was a little bit nervous of him coming in, because of Falcao, Alexis Sanchez, showcase signings. This one has been different. He’s really applied himself brilliantly and has been a big help to Manchester United.
“He does the right things. The right movements. It’s clockwork, that run across the defender, across the near post, the one you’re always trying to get young strikers to do.”
Cavani’s record at Man Utd
Cavani is now 34 years of age, but he is showing no sign of slowing down.
His game has never been about pace or power, with predatory instincts allowing him to plunder over 400 career goals.
Eight efforts have been recorded in the colours of United, with Harry Maguire among those to have talked up finishing skills that remain as sharp as ever.
The Red Devils captain told the club’s official website after watching another striking masterclass in north London: “I think he had a big part to play throughout the game.
“I think his press and his movement… I think we know that the first goal he scores was great play from Paul [Pogba] and then great movement [for his second] and the finish, it’s a great ball from Mason [Greenwood].
“That’s what he’s done throughout his career, that movement in the box is the best that I’ve seen and the best that I’ve played against. That’s why he’s scored so many goals throughout his career and I think the rest of the lads have lots to learn from. He deserved that goal.”
Cavani saw a first-half effort ruled out against Spurs, as Scott McTominay was controversially judged to have committed a foul on Heung-min Son in the build-up, but he got his reward after the break when converting a diving header that allowed United to complete another comeback victory on the road.