Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United have finally offset the sale of Romelu Lukaku with Edinson Cavani.
Cavani came on at half-time with United 2-0 down at Southampton and inspired them to a 3-2 victory, assisting Bruno Fernandes’ strike before netting twice – the winner coming in added time.
The 33-year-old joined United on deadline day on October 5 and only made his first start in the midweek Champions League win over Istanbul Basaksehir, but is now pushing to start against former club Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.
United sold Lukaku to Inter Milan in August 2019 and the only striker they eventually signed to offset his departure was Odion Ighalo on deadline day in January. Ighalo, 32, has only played twice this season, and his loan is due to expire at the end of January but Cavani has quickly shown his expertise up front.
“He’s got all the attributes of a top-class footballer and a human being,” Solskjaer said. “He’s had a great career, scored goals wherever, he’s meticulous with preparation and recovery, meal times, before and in the match. I was surprised he didn’t have his boots ready when the second-half started!
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Manchester United secured a dramatic comeback victory at Southampton on Sunday, largely thanks to Edinson Cavani’s two goals off the bench.
Bruno Fernandes’ goal set Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side on course to battle back from 2-0 at St Mary’s, giving United a third successive Premier League win.
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“We know he is one of the cleverest and best movers in the box. He certainly had an impact today. We are not the same types of players.
“He reminds me of Andy (Cole): movement in the box, great timing. He’s not learned off me. I was ready when the game started with boots, the right studs. He made us wait a little bit too long for my liking!
“To have a focal point in the box… we’ve not really had that since Romelu left. It gives us a great balance and a mix. We wanted to mix it up and he had a great impact.
“Edinson has been around the block, been between both posts, he’s seen this game before, that cross before. And his best friend in the box is – as Sir Alex [Ferguson] used to say – space. And he gets into that space with perfect timing.”