The Uruguayan will now stay in England until June 2022.
Back in October, when Edinson Cavani was confirmed as a Manchester United player at the eleventh hour, I wrote a piece worried what the move meant for the club. United had, after all, went from courting a young Jadon Sancho all summer to ending up with a then 33-year-old striker. From United’s decision-making to Cavani’s injury record in his last season at PSG, there were a lot of red flags.
Now, as he signs on for another year with the Red Devils, I, as a United fan, could not be any happier.
After months of speculation, the 34-year-old has decided to prolong his stay in Manchester for at least another year. He was reported to have been feeling homesick and missing his family; with having to move to a new country with a language he didn’t understand and given the COVID times, it is quite understandable. A move to Boca Juniors looked set on the cards for a while, but thanks to his recent performances, confidence from his manager, and the outpouring love of United fans, Cavani has decided he wants to see a full Old Trafford chant his name after all.
It’s not that my qualms regarding Cavani’s physical fitness were unfounded. He has suffered with minor knocks throughout this season, having missed 18 games in total through injury since his arrival. Despite that, the effect he has had both on and off the pitch has made it nigh impossible for the fans to not want him to stick around.
Cavani has proved himself to be the ultimate professional. His diligence in the training ground to apply himself has not only made him a favourite of fans and critics alike, it has also been helpful to inspire United’s young players – Mason Greenwood, in particular – to learn from the seasoned striker.
On the pitch, Cavani has proved himself to be United’s best out-and-out number 9 with his cunning off-the-ball movement, work ethic, link-up play, and sensational heading ability. With 15 goals and 5 assists in 35 appearances thus far, Cavani has deservingly claimed his place in United’s starting XI.
Cavani’s contract extension means United have already started building their squad for next season. Having sealed their striker, focus will be on strengthening the squad in other areas of the pitch over the summer.
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Talking about the contract extension, Edinson Cavani said:
“Over the season, I have developed a great affection for the club and everything that it represents. I feel a deep bond with my team-mates and the staff who work behind the scenes here. They give me extra motivation every day and I know that, together, we can achieve special things.
“From the very first moment that I arrived, I felt the confidence of the manager. As a player, this belief gives you the perfect opportunity to play your best football and I want to thank him for that.
“I have been touched with how much the supporters have wanted me to stay, and I will give everything to bring them happiness and joy with my performances on the field. I’ve not yet been able to play in front of the Old Trafford crowd and that is something that I cannot wait to do.”
His manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, added:
“I said when Edinson signed, that he would bring energy, power and leadership to this group and I haven’t been proved wrong, he has been everything I thought he would be and more.
“As coaches, we knew about his goalscoring record. However, it is his personality that has brought so much to this squad, he has a winning mentality and has an unequivocal attitude to everything he does.
“Edinson is one of the last to leave the training ground and sets the tone for the upcoming youngsters with his approach to his profession every single day. I have always wanted him to stay and experience the way our fans will respond to him as a player, and this means he will hopefully get that opportunity.”
In becoming a revered personality both on and off the pitch, it is safe to say Cavani has broken the “number 7 kit” curse that had persisted since Cristiano Ronaldo vacated it in 2009.