Manchester United could be without one of their key attacking players ahead of the 2021/22 season with reports circling that Edinson Cavani could depart Old Trafford.
As quoted by Argentine outlet TyC Sports, the Uruguayan is “not comfortable” in England and could soon leave for Boca Juniors, according to the player’s father.
Having been an excellent option for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following his free transfer arrival from Paris Saint Germain, the potential departure of Cavani could be a bitter blow for the Red Devils.
Since arriving in England, the now 34-year-old has had quite the impact. In 25 appearances in all competitions at Old Trafford, he has scored seven goals. It’s in the Premier League where the majority of those have come, though.
Some of those strikes have been supremely valuable, too. He has scored winning goals against Southampton, Everton and Fulham, with another effort against the Toffees at Old Trafford helping to earn a point.
In total, his goals have seen the Red Devils claim a further seven points in the Premier League. Without him, Solskjaer’s men could be sitting on 48 points, a huge 17 points behind table-toppers Manchester City. Their place in the top four could also have been in real jeopardy.
Cavani’s goalscoring instincts have also eased the burden on last season’s joint-top scorer Marcus Rashford. Throughout the 2019/20 campaign, the young Englishman scored 25% of United’s total goals in all competitions. This season, he has only contributed to 21%.
Another damaging aspect of the £210k p/w forward potentially departing is the need for a replacement. Valued at just £10.8m, one would suspect that it would cost much more than that to bring in a striker of Cavani’s quality.
The Red Devils could look to the free agent market as they did with the Uruguayan – Moussa Marega, Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay all being possible options – but that would, of course, be another gamble when Solskjaer knows he can already go all in on Cavani.
With it being reported that there is an option of a second year in his contract, the Red Devils need to activate that right now as opposed to letting him leave for free. If the veteran does leave, the United boss should be gutted to lose a very good player so soon after his arrival.