One year since Solskjaer urged Edinson Cavani to stay, magic moment simply has not happened
A year ago Edinson Cavani produced a masterful display to help Manchester United defeat Roma in the Europa League semi-final first leg.
Cavani’s contract situation was still a little unclear at the time, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer urged him to stay, to experience the full Manchester United atmosphere.
Cavani was playing in a stadium without fans due to the regulations at the time, and Solskjaer promised the striker a true Old Trafford experience.
The manager at the time told Sky Sports: “He knows my feelings, he knows that I would love to have him for another year, we have spoken about it.
“I understand this year has been very difficult, but I promised him that Old Trafford and Manchester is a different place with fans in the stadium.
“I’m doing my best, nights like this [help], hopefully we can get to the final and hopefully he can see himself being here for another year.”
No goals in front of a full stadium
Cavani did sign, and while he has experienced the Old Trafford nights, the Uruguayan has not scored a goal for the club in front of a full stadium.
He struck a long range effort in front of 10,000 fans at the end of last season, seemingly an appetiser for what was to come. Instead the main meal was never delivered.
Cavani has scored twice for United this season, away at Tottenham and away at Newcastle.
Even with his injury problems, there was hope Cavani had one important goal left in him, but he just hasn’t been on the pitch enough.
When he has been fit or not in Uruguay, Cavani has often been a substitute behind Cristiano Ronaldo.
And in the games he has played, he has not offered enough, and been restricted to a supporting role.
While his effort on the pitch can’t usually be criticised, his effort to actually get onto the pitch can be.
He has played all four games for Uruguay in 2022, and just three for United since the end of January.
Ralf Rangick has found it frustrating too, taking a jab at the ‘continuously injured‘ forward option, which has placed extra pressure on Ronaldo.
There is still one more chance for Cavani, if he can get fit in time for United’s match with Brentford on Monday night, the final home game of the season.
Even if he does, and he scores, the celebrations won’t be the same. United fans have fallen out of love with Cavani as quickly as they took to him.
His lack of regular action has made the decision to re-sign him look like another error, and there is nobody begging for him to stay an extra 12 months, ahead of his impending release.