Edinson Cavani’s questionable availability for Manchester United’s next Premier League game could hand Odion Ighalo a reprieve.
Cavani landed in England on October 4, and United’s game is on the 17th.
That puts 13 days between, with 14 required to quarantine.
The Times reports United are seeking clarification on whether he can be granted an exemption as an elite athlete, but as it stands Cavani would miss the fixture.
Even if Cavani is granted permission to play, there are questions over how fit he will be, and limited training time with his new teammates.
He would be eligible to face former side PSG away in the Champions League, days later.
Ighalo’s United career is flagging. He did not even make the bench for the past two league games.
When he started in the cups, he has not had an impact, failing to register a shot on target in two matches.
Cavani’s arrival was widely thought to be another serious blow to Ighalo’s United career.
The Nigerian striker’s loan deal ends at the end of January. Having started only four games between June and this point, there will not be too many opportunities left.
That’s why a chance against Newcastle could be huge for Ighalo. If he takes it, and gets on the scoresheet, he revitalises his short-term prospects, and creates real competition up front.
United have another alternative
United don’t have to use Ighalo, despite Cavani and Martial’s absences.
Either Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford could play up front, with Dan James or Juan Mata, even Jesse Lingard filling in for one of them out wide.
Solskjaer could even change formation, to go with a 3-4-1-2 set up or a 4-4-2, which could see him line up with Greenwood and Rashford as dual strikers, with Ighalo having to settle for a place on the bench.
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