Man Utd: Solskjaer says Cavani demanded no.7 shirt
Manchester United have started to see the best of Edinson Cavani over the past month. Firstly, there was his brilliant brace against Southampton, then his goal against Everton in the Carabao Cup and, just on Boxing Day, his fine assist for Bruno Fernandes against Leicester. And it seems he couldn’t be any more contrasting to Alexis Sanchez, the last player to wear the club’s famous No 7 chat.
When United signed Cavani on transfer deadline day, many were sceptical.
After all, the Uruguay international had spent the majority of last season sidelined through injury and hadn’t played a competitive match since March.
Then there was his age. At 33, some thought he wasn’t ripe enough to play in the Premier League. United had wanted Jadon Sancho – and had allowed for that to be known – but ended up signing a veteran instead.
But those concerns are starting to look foolish.
In the past month, Cavani has lit up United. He’s offered their attack a brand new dimension, an added potency that Anthony Martial, for all his brilliance, doesn’t provide.
And, now, a new contract could be forthcoming.
Solskjaer hinted at that when speaking on Monday, with the Norwegian saying: “He is still one of the fittest players we have got.
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“At the moment it looks like he has a few years left in him.
“He has made a great influence, a great impact when he has come here. He has a few years left in him.
“We have good competition for places but he will probably start more games than he will not start. He is definitely a starter.
“You don’t classify a player of that quality as anything else. I trust him and my players.”
Shortly afterwards, the Daily Star revealed that Cavani had already held talks with Woodward.
The South American striker reportedly told the Red Devils supremo that he’s settled in Manchester and, more importantly, is delighted at the way he’s been treated at the club.
Now that couldn’t be more contrasting to Sanchez, the last player to wear their historic No 7 shirt.
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When United signed Sanchez from Arsenal in January 2018, sending Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the opposite direction, they thought they’d struck gold.
But, as the now Inter Milan star revealed earlier this year, he never wanted to be at Old Trafford in the first place.
He decided to let rip on Instagram, in a post that’s since been deleted. In September, he said: “I want to tell you about my period at United, about many things that were said and that made me look bad.
“I got the opportunity to go to United and it seemed tempting to me. It was something nice for me, because, when I was a kid, I liked that club a lot.
“I ended up signing without much information about what was happening in the move. The first days that I was with my colleagues, sometimes there are things that you do not realise until you arrive.
“The first training I had I realised many things. I came home and I told my representative: ‘Can’t the contract be terminated to return to Arsenal?’ They start laughing and I told them that something did not sit right with me. It [the contract] had already been signed.”
Despite being absolutely dire for United, Sanchez also claimed he was turned into a scapegoat for the club’s struggles.
“I’m telling you my experience; the journalists at times would speak without knowing the facts and it hurt, they had no idea what was going on inside the club,” he added.
“They said it was my fault, and this, and that, but sometimes a player depends on the environment, the family that is created around him, and I think that in that moment we weren’t really a family.
“And that translated on to the pitch, and since there needed to be someone to blame, they blamed me.”
Unlike Sanchez, Cavani is happy right from the off.
And United will be hoping the 33-year-old can continue his fine run of form, especially with the matches now coming thick and fast.
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