Edinson Cavani is hoping to make his first start for Manchester United tonight away at Istanbul Basaksehir.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the club website that he believes Cavani is making good progress.
Solskjaer also highlighted that United have only had Cavani for a limited time so far.
After signing on transfer deadline day on October 5, Cavani had to isolate for two weeks and has only been able to make three brief substitute appearances so far.
Solskjaer said: “We haven’t managed to get him long enough yet to make a big impact but he’s looking sharper and sharper in training so it won’t be long.”
While the season had a later start that usual, it is November now, and United have already wasted valuable time and lost crucial points.
A question of strategy
United’s late move to sign Cavani was viewed in some quarters as a panic move.
While Cavani has an impressive record, the lateness of the deal has left him playing catch up.
Cavani was a free agent after leaving Paris Saint-Germain when his contract expired at the end of June.
If United were serious about signing the Uruguayan sooner, a deal should really have been done in July. Or even August.
This would have seen Cavani have more than a month to train ahead of United’s Premier League kick off on September 19.
Instead United went into the game under-prepared, relying on players who had less than a month’s rest after a deep Europa League run.
United have just seven points out of a possible 18 from the opening six games.
If Solskjaer had a fully fit Cavani to call on from day one, this points tally would most probably be higher.
Solskjaer’s comments only serve to highlight United’s poor planning, that into November, the club have a new signing who is not up to full speed.
Chief executive Ed Woodward must take responsibility for this poor planning.
A decision not to splash £108 million on Jadon Sancho is understandable in this market – but United were too late to move on other attacking alternatives.
Cavani should have been in far earlier. Hopefully he can start making up for lost time.
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