Thursday, November 26 2020

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Nothing but a showcase signing

Update: October, 08/2020 - 09:00

 

NOT THE ANSWER: Edinson Cavani celebrates after scoring for PSG. He will next wear the famous number seven shirt of Manchester United. — AFP/VNA Photo.

Paul Kennedy

After a humiliating defeat against Tottenham, Manchester United consoled themselves by splashing the cash as the transfer deadline came to a close.

But I’m sorry United fans, if you believe the business carried out at Old Trafford this week will save your season, then you are completely deluded.

Let’s start with Edinson Cavani.

While the Uruguayan may have arrived on a free transfer, he won't come cheap after you factor in agent fees and his salary.

And while there’s no doubt that although he’s the wrong side of 30, he still is a top-class striker, unless he can play right-back, left-back, centre half and defensive midfield, all at the same time, then he is going to add very little to that United team.

Remember Falcao? What about Angel Di Maria? Or even Alexis Sanchez for that matter. All great players who did diddly squat after signing for United.

And what do the above three South Americans all have in common? They were all signed after Sir Alex Ferguson left and, more importantly, after the departure of former chief executive, David Gill.

That’s the exact moment the United juggernaut came to a sudden stop and it’s never managed to get going since.

Cavani has been available on a free transfer since the beginning of the summer, and United waiting until the end of the window to sign him just reeks of desperation.

They should be looking to rebuild, not covering a gaping and bloody gunshot wound to the side of their head with a Band-Aid.

Their defence right now leaks more than a century-old sieve. In two home games, they have let in nine goals. Yes, nine.

Three against Crystal Palace whose main aim this season is to stay in the Premier League and six against Tottenham, a team some might say are in a transitional period and are managed by the most defensive-minded individual football has ever seen.

And when manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is happy with his current squad, then United fans should worry.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Solskjaer is nowhere near good enough to manage Manchester United. In fact, I’ll go one further, he is not good enough to manage any team in the Premier League.

But getting rid of him will do little to help their cause. There’s talk of Mauricio Pochettino taking over, a manager who won nothing in England during his spells at Southampton and Tottenham.

Even if they did get him, it's upstairs at Old Trafford that’s in need of a massive clear out. Sorry, Ed Woodward, your days are numbered.

United won’t win the league this year. They won’t even come close. They will need a miracle of biblical proportions to qualify from their group in the Champions League so I’m sorry to say, their season is as good as over.

Cavani will start his first game for Manchester United wearing the famous number seven shirt, a shirt worn in the past by George Best, Ray Wilkins, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

It’s fair to say that in the past, Cavani was good enough to be named in the same sentence as those United legends.

But at 33 years old, in a team that can only be described as average at best, he will do little to solve their much wider problems. — VNS

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