Solskjaer claims 'world class' Man Utd ace Edinson Cavani will be even better next year with full pre-season behind him
OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER believes Manchester United fans will see one of the world’s best strikers next season in 34-year-old Edinson Cavani.
The Uruguayan has already had a huge impact at Old Trafford with 15 goals in all competitions – eight of them in his last ten games.
But the United boss believes with a proper pre-season behind him the veteran front man will score even more in the next campaign.
Solskjaer said: "I think we’ve seen the last few months what we can expect and what we want from him.
“He gives us a number nine position. I don't know how many games we'll get out of him but he's one of the best number nines in the world at the moment.
“Next season he’ll come ready, he'll be fit when he comes in pre-season, this year he had seven months of no football to catch up, which is not easy and he's had a couple of niggles because of that.”
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Cavani had not played a game since March of last year as his contract ran down at PSG.
He was searching for a club before United snapped up the free agent last October.
Cavani had to self-isolate when he came over and was training at his temporary home in Manchester on a treadmill.
That lead to a slow start and question marks over whether this was just another costly addition to the wage bill with United picking up another player past his prime – remember Radamel Falcao and Bastian Schweinsteiger?
Or would he eventually become more Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had such an impact at the club back in 2016-17?
Cavani got up and running away to Everton, scoring his first goal for the club on November 7 in a 3-1 away win.
It has been the last few weeks however when United have really started to see the best of him.
He had his sights sets on a return to South America, but Solskjaer convinced him that his form and the feeling of scoring goals before fans in Old Trafford next season was a reason to stay.
So Cavani agreed to trigger a one-year extension on his contract.
It has not just been on the pitch but off it where Solskjaer feels he has had an influence, particularly on younger forwards like 19-year-old Mason Greenwood.
He said: “He comes in every day, does everything right, has the same professionalism The boys look at him.”
Cavani came on as a substitute in United’s 2-1 defeat to Leicester on Tuesday but will start against Liverpool tomorrow.
Solskjaer made ten changes from the starting line-up that took down Aston Villa 3-1 on Sunday for the visit of the Foxes.
Greenwood was the only survivor but Solskjaer felt he took more responsibility without the more experienced figures of Cavani, Rashford, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes around him.
He scored again, his eighth in 11 games, and now Solskjaer wants to see him take that same responsibility into the game against Liverpool.
He said: “You saw some definite leadership, the way he had to take responsibility.
“He’s got Amad and Anthony (Elanga) next to him, looks at them and thinks ‘I’ve got 100 games here so I need to help them’, which is great.
“He did really well, considering his age he’s got over 100 games and has got loads of experience.
“The way he took responsibility, I was really pleased with it, that’s maybe not as easy when you’ve got Bruno, Paul, Marcus and Edinson next to you, which is natural.
“I still want him to take that responsibility when he plays. No matter how old you are, if you believe in yourself, trust in yourself, and think if it’s the right decision, you make that decision.”
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