Three reasons Manchester United should swoop for Edinson Cavani

Odion Ighalo returns to China at the end of his loan spell in January and Manchester United have still not sorted a potential replacement.

The Daily Mail report that United are in talks with Edinson Cavani, who was released by Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

There is no suggestion that a deal is close and given how slowly United have negotiated this summer, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the talks came to nothing.

But if United can sort a deal out, Cavani – although he’s a short term fix – would instantly improve United’s attacking options.

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He’s an upgrade on Ighalo

It’s not Odion Ighalo’s fault he was an absolute last-minute January signing, a last resort once everything else had gone cold.

He clearly loves United and made a good impression last season; doing as well as could reasonably be expected.

But it’s become increasingly clear he’s not fit for purpose in recent months and Cavani is quite simply in a different league.

He bagged 200 goals in 301 PSG matches, and became the club’s all-time record goalscorer in January 2018.

Cavani may not have grown up as a United fan like Ighalo, but what matters more is who is better at putting the ball in the back of the net. It’s no contest.

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Competition for Martial

The January arrival of Ighalo seemed to light a fire in Anthony Martial.

Suddenly, he played like he was no longer assured of his place in the side and went up a level in terms of application and consistency.

Cavani’s arrival should give him another boost, offering him real competition for his place as well as the chance to learn under an elite marksman.

That could see Martial return to the left flank at times, offering an alternative to Marcus Rashford on occasion.

The goalkeeping battle between Dean Henderson and David de Gea seems to be bringing the best out of both men – and something similar could happen in attack if Cavani comes in.

Title-winning experience

Cavani’s trophy haul at PSG is eye-watering; six league titles, four French Cups and five French League Cups.

He’s also won the Copa America with Uruguay in 2011.

Given that United came up short in three semi-finals last season, Cavani’s knowhow could prove vital.

There aren’t many players in the current ranks who know what it takes to get over the line and win big trophies on a regular basis.

That’s something Cavani would bring. He should also have a point to prove after being let go by PSG.

Lifting silverware with United would be one way to show Thomas Tuchel what he’s missing.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.