Edinson Cavani entered Manchester United’s game with Brighton under a little additional pressure after the news Anthony Martial could be out for the season.
Cavani was making his first start since March 3, and it turned out to be a dud of a display.
Having had the past fortnight to sharpen up, with the South American World Cup qualifiers cancelled, United hoped Cavani would return to action with a bang.
It didn’t happen, with the Uruguayan managing just 17 touches in 81 minutes.
United took a 2-1 lead just two minutes after he was substituted, and that was no coincidence.
Cavani failed to link up well with his teammates throughout the game.
In the first half he had a chance to play Marcus Rashford in, and misjudged his pass wildly and it went out for a throw-in
There was another moment he got free between Brighton’s defenders, but he was so glaringly offside that Bruno Fernandes knew he could not release the pass to play him in, and the attack broke down.
Cavani needs to do better, and this was the third poor performance in a row he has delivered as a starter.
It follows his ineffective displays in the 1-1 draw at West Brom and 0-0 at Crystal Palace, where he contributed nothing to the attack.
Now, in Cavani’s defence, these games have been scattered apart, one in February, one March, and one April, and so he has not been able to put a run of form together, due to fitness reasons.
He needs to kick on, and hopefully this match will act as a useful tune-up for Cavani to produce better performances in his next games. It can’t really get worse.
Next up is Granada in the Europa League, and while Cavani should start, it’s not a sure deal, because Mason Greenwood could be selected up front and Dan James or Amad on the right wing.
With a decision looming over his contract, Cavani needs to play better to even warrant an extension, whether he wants one or not.
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