It sounds as though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is slowly coming to terms with the fact that summer recruit Edinson Cavani is unlikely to stay at Old Trafford beyond this season.
Nothing is finalised yet but the United boss last week alluded to the Uruguayan perhaps making a return to his home continent at the end of the campaign. “He’s not told me he wants to leave but I’m very aware he might be going back home to South America with the difficult year he has had and if that’s his decision I’ll understand that.”
Cavani hasn’t been a regular in Solskjaer’s starting XI this season but he’s rarely let the Norwegian down when called upon. His tally of ten goals might look decent if unremarkable, yet that breaks down to an impressive average of 0.49 goals per 90, or roughly one goal in every two appearances – a desirable strike rate for any forward.
Not just that, but with 29.63 per cent, the 34-year-old also has the best goal conversion rate for any Premier League player who has scored eight or more league goals this season.
It’s not been all about his goals though. Since the departure of Romelu Lukaku, the Reds have lacked a traditional centre forward in the squad – someone willing to press without the ball, work hard and link well with teammates in the final third. Cavani has offered all of that, plus invaluable experience from having plied his trade at some of the biggest clubs across Europe.
Expecting his departure, United will already be drawing up a list of suitable replacements, and one of those who could have been bumped up the pecking order this week is Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham.
It’s recently been reported across multiple sources that the England international could be allowed to leave Chelsea in the summer for a fee in the region of £40million.
He rose to prominence on loan with Aston Villa in the 2018/19 campaign, scoring 26 Championship goals. He returned to Chelsea and seamlessly made the step up to top-tier football by going on to score a standout 18 goals and registering a further three assists.
It was anticipated he’d push on again this season but his development has been derailed during a turbulent season at Chelsea. The club changed managers halfway through the campaign, bringing in Thomas Tuchel to replace Frank Lampard, and both he and his predecessor have preferred to hand more regular minutes to Timo Werner, despite the German’s struggles.
Whilst this has resulted in a difficult campaign for striker, it could provide United with the perfect opportunity to swoop ahead of next season.