For every Manchester United superstar who plays, there is another top talent who ends up on the sidelines.
Edinson Cavani’s star showing against Tottenham came at the expense of Mason Greenwood, who dropped out of the team.
It was not a surprise to see Greenwood benched. He was poor against Atalanta and did not help against Liverpool.
The Telegraph reported on how a lack of understanding between Greenwood and Cristiano Ronaldo ‘had not gone unnoticed.’
It was telling then, that it took just 90 minutes for Ronaldo and Cavani’s connection to spark.
Both players scored in the win at Tottenham, lining up in a new 3-5-2 formation.
Cavani was seen at times directing Ronaldo where to stand, and where to press.
The Uruguayan has Ronaldo’s respect and the Portuguese ace listened.
Most importantly, the pair linked up for a goal. Ronaldo picked out Cavani’s run for United’s second, laying off a perfectly executed pass for the former PSG striker to do the rest.
The connection between the pair seems to be there already, and it is a really positive sign for United.
Cavani’s Instagram post after the game read, ‘Great win to show us the way, let’s keep moving forward lads’.
That is essentially what Cavani is there to do. United’s younger players like Greenwood were beginning to flounder under the pressure, and veteran forward Cavani has shown the way.
What next for Greenwood?
Greenwood is a sensational talent, there’s no doubting that. But Cavani is better.
What he has achieved in his career is outstanding, and Greenwood is not at his level yet.
Cavani’s movement, tactical awareness, and heading ability are all superior to Greenwood, despite the youngster’s explosive talent.
There’s no shame in that for Greenwood, but a spell on the sidelines to watch and learn from Cavani will do him good.
Don’t expect him to be rested for too long either. Greenwood will get his chances.
Cavani is 34 and has suffered from injury issues during his time at United and his last season at PSG.
Amid the next two games against Atalanta and City, its doubtful the Uruguayan will start them both.
And then the Watford game after the international break comes after Cavani will have been away in South America. So he probably won’t start at Vicarage Road.
Greenwood has to compete with Marcus Rashford too of course, along with Anthony Martial. But there is no guarantee United will stick with a 3-5-2.
Cavani has shown he should be the number one strike partner for Cristiano Ronaldo, right now at least.
This is the final year for the Uruguayan at Old Trafford as it stands, so it makes sense United utilise him.
Greenwood must stay patient, watch what Cavani is doing, and learn from one of the very best.
A moment of pause and reflection to study Cavani can only make him better.
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