Buenos Aires has classic splendor, world-famous steakhouses, the passion of tango and lots of sunshine. Manchester has old cotton mills, the hotpot, stone roses and a persistent drizzle.
Even so, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with his satisfying Mancunian-Norwegian hybrid accent, did his best to convince Edinson Cavani to stay with Manchester United a little longer.
Cavani’s heart may be on Boca Juniors, but Solskjaer plays the local tour guide to keep the phenomenal 34-year-old center-forward detained for another year.
Edinson Cavani celebrates at the trademark after scoring his second goal against Roma
The Uruguayan striker’s performance in United’s 6-2 win was his best ever for the club
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is trying to convince Cavani to stay another year
“This year has been very difficult, but I promised him Old Trafford and Manchester would be another place with no fans in the stadium,” said Solskjaer after Cavanis two goals and three assists brought United one big step closer to the Europa League final had.
‘Manchester is a fantastic place to live. I’m doing my best, let’s see. ‘
Remarkably, Solskjaer might have made it. ESPN reported Friday that Cavani “has had a change of heart” and will be staying at United a little longer. We are waiting for confirmation.
The classes are clearly permanent when it comes to the Uruguayan, and while a return to South America may be the romantic option in the twilight years of his career, he can clearly still do a brilliant job at the highest level for United.
His time at Old Trafford may have started slowly but Cavani is now one of United’s most influential players and they have to pull out all the stops to convince him to stay.
Those two goals in the 6-2 win over Roma on Thursday night made it 12 for the season and five in its last five games. In addition, Cavani was able to surpass 50 goals in the Champions League and the Europa League.
Cavani really wants to come to Boca Juniors in Argentina and play at La Bombonera
The charm of Buenos Aires (pictured) is evident, but Solskjaer spoke to Cavani about Manchester’s charm
Cavani at Man United
matches 33 Starts 17th
Gates 12th Helps 5
UNITED TOP SCORERS 2020-21
26 – Bruno Fernandes
20 – Marcus Rashford
12 – Edinson Cavani
10 – Mason Greenwood
7 – Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay
6 – Paul Pogba
Even if Anthony Martial were fit right now, it is doubtful that he would be ahead of Cavani as United’s first choice center forward.
The understanding that the veteran striker has developed with Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and others was wonderfully felt on Thursday at Old Trafford.
It would be a shame if this ended in a month.
Cavani’s time at Old Trafford was more Zlatan Ibrahimovic than Radamel Falcao and it’s a shame to come to the club and not score in front of a crowded and adoring Stretford end.
The desire for Cavani becomes deafening. At BT Sport, Paul Scholes described his performance against Roma as “the performance of an all-round center forward”.
He added, “We have seen these types of players, Marcus [Rashford], Mason [Greenwood], [Anthony] Martial, we’re not entirely sure if you are a center forward. Tonight, that tells you, that’s a real center forward out there. ‘
Owen Hargreaves, standing next to Scholes, greeted a “real” thoroughbred center forward who is something of a dying breed these days.
A United fan on Twitter suggested that Solskjaer lock Cavani in the locker room and not release him until the contract extension is signed.
That probably crossed his mind to Solskjaer, but he’s hoping that a combination of winning the Europa League and Champions League football next season, the feeling of United’s gradual rebuilding and a bit more freedom will add the charms of Manchester to explore who does the trick.
The striker has scored 12 goals this season despite missing several games due to injury
He was twice on the top scorer list helping United beat Roma 6-2 in the Europa League
Old Trafford rocks when United fans are at their best on the big occasions, but it’s not quite Bocas La Bombonera. In addition, Cavani wants to get closer to his family in Uruguay.
Last month his father Luis said: “My son is not comfortable in England and wants to be close to the family again. Edinson will play in South America – he would love to play for Boca. ‘
There was also the storm over the three-game ban and a £ 100,000 fine handed to him by the Football Association after using the word “Negrito” in a “racist” Instagram post.
The FA commission even agreed that there was no offensive intent in the mail, but this apparent confusion of cultures only added to the feeling that Cavani was not entirely comfortable in England.
Cavani was banned from three games and fined £ 100,000 by the FA for using the word “Negrito” in an Instagram post replying to a friend
There had certainly been a lot of doubt on the pitch when Cavani was signed for a free kick in early October, just days after United were beaten 6-1 by Tottenham.
After a summer attempting to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, it seemed such an overwhelming addition, and also not entirely in line with Solskjaer’s desire to rejuvenate United into a force with young players.
All signs pointed to another high-profile United flop like Falcao or Angel Di Maria. Cavani’s checkered injury record, which was the inevitable result of an aging body, a sizeable pay package for a substitute striker, and little other interest in him after leaving Paris Saint-Germain.
Cavani’s injury record was worrying when he joined United on a free transfer last October
Cavani announced himself with two goals in a sweeping comeback win in Southampton
It also took Cavani some time to get fit enough for Solskjaer to think about playing him. His first start was the home game with Istanbul Basaksehir over six weeks after his arrival.
But really, ever since the Uruguayan broke off the bench at halftime and scored twice in a thrilling 2-0 comeback in Southampton in late November, United knew he was still a classmate.
There have been some setbacks with injuries but Cavani’s fitness has been pretty good and when he’s on the field he’s increasingly delivering.
As Solskjaer said: ‘A center forward as a center forward should play, guide the channels, be a focal point, create opportunities for others, score goals, also miss a few opportunities, but that’s really what he’s here for.
“If you have three or four chances in every game, you score one, two or three goals.”
The Uruguayan face Tottenham in United’s 3-1 win in north London
He scored a first-class volley in the United Nations quarter-finals against Granada
This all-round center-forward game was felt very clearly against the Roma. The first time in the top corner for his first goal to end the game 2-2 was superb. His second might have been a tap-in, but Cavani knew exactly where to be.
His perfectly weighted kick-off pass for Fernandes showed the quality of his liaison work, and the ball out of the shoe for Mason Greenwood for the sixth time only showed.
But his influence extends beyond the field of play as well. Solskjaer recently spoke about Cavani’s positive attitude at camp and the impact it has had on the club’s younger strikers.
Even if United broke the bank for someone like Erling Haaland or Harry Kane in the summer, Cavani would still be fantastic to have at the club.
He can assume that Solskjaer will have a lot of words in his ear by the end of a season. United’s hope ends with them winning the Europa League in Gdansk. “You want Manchester this summer, Edi … honestly.”
But Cavani’s all-round performance in defeating Roma was the best so far at United