The Uruguay international has made a sizeable impact since his arrival last summer and proved his worth once again with a diving header to put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side 2-1 up in their 3-1 comeback win over Tottenham on Sunday.
After having a goal ruled out in the first half for an adjudged foul from Scott McTominay on Son Heung-min in the build-up, Cavani eventually found the back of the net after 79 minutes, taking his tally to seven Premier League goals for the season.
The 34-year-old has been linked with a move to Argentine side Boca Juniors but ex-United striker Hughes feels there would be a big hole in the squad if he ends up leaving.
‘He’s of a type you don’t see too many of them in this day and age and if you do see them they’ve become very expensive players,’ Hughes told Stadium Astro.
‘You look at what United need maybe to push Man City a little bit closer than they’ve been able to this year and if Cavani goes back to South America then they’re going to have to fill that position.
‘What he’s doing at the moment is first class so if you’re going to try to replicate what he’s giving the team at the moment then you’re going to have to spend a hell of a lot of money.
‘There’s not too many strikers in world football at the moment who can play the same role to the extent that Cavani is, he’s been doing it for many many years at the highest level he knows the role and what’s expected of it and he makes great runs that his teammates know he will make.
‘So if he does go back and United do lose him he’s going to be a big hole to fill it’s not going to be easy because there’s only a certain amount that spring to mind, one of them was on the pitch today, Harry Kane, [Erling] Haaland possibly but he’s going to have a lot of options maybe United won’t be his first choice.
‘It’s a key position for them, if it was my decision I think I’d go all out to try and convince Cavani to stay one more year.’
United have the option to trigger a 12-month extension clause in the striker’s contract, however, Solskjaer admitted the Uruguayan is yet to make his final decision on whether he wants to stay or not.
‘He knows my feelings, I know his feelings,’ Solskjaer told Sky Sports after the Spurs win. ‘He’s not made up his mind yet.
‘I understand it’s been a difficult year for everyone but for a new lad that doesn’t speak English and not to feel the English culture, to go and see people, to have friends around, it’s in the back of your head if this is what you want. You can’t have your family over.
‘Fingers crossed but if he decides it’s just this season we’ve been fortunate to have him here.’
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