Tue. Oct 20th, 2020

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Three ways Manchester United could line up with Edinson Cavani transfer

3 min read

Manchester United are set to make former Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani their first striker signing of the summer.

The 33-year-old is a free agent after leaving the Parisians at the end of last season, winning the Ligue 1 title in his final campaign in France.

Cavani is set to become United’s second or third summer signing after the arrival of Donny van de Beek, depending on when Alex Telles’ move from Porto is formally confirmed, and could be thrown straight into United’s team after the international break with Anthony Martial facing a three-game suspension following his sending off against Tottenham.

It is understood Cavani‘s track-record of winning trophies in Europe with Napoli and PSG appeals to the club, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer building a young squad at Old Trafford under the Norwegian.

MEN Sport takes a look at three ways United could line up with the forward.

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Cavani’s arrival could see Martial shift back to his left wing role at times. The Frenchman excelled while used centrally by Solskjaer last season but can still be as dangerous from the left. Cavani is excellent at holding up the ball meaning he could be used to bring Martial into the game. His introduction to the team can help Solskjaer keep opponents guessing as to how and where United will line up their attackers. If Martial is missing through injury or simply being rested, expect Marcus Rashford to shift back to the left with Cavani lining up centrally alongside Mason Greenwood.

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If Martial remains United’s central forward, Cavani can be used from the left in place of Rashford. United lacked a quality option out wide when Rashford was sidelined and the 33-year-old can replace his quality in the front line. He has excellent movement off the ball and possesses the work-rate to fit in on the wing. His experience could also prove invaluable to both Rashford and Greenwood. Cavani has played 2948 minutes on the left in his career, scoring 22 goals and registering five assists. He averaged more successful actions, dribbles completed and offensive duels won while playing on the wing.

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The addition of Cavani could see Solskjaer revert to the formation used mostly when Rashford was sidelined. A natural No.9 means United could deploy two central forwards with Bruno Fernandes operating behind in the attacking midfielder role. The diamond formation also enables Solskjaer to utilise Paul Pogba and Van de Beek in the same formation, with Nemanja Matic the anchor of the midfield four. Cavani is no stranger to playing in a two-forward formation given Uruguay tend to use a 4-4-2 system with the former Napoli man partnering Luis Suarez.

These graphics were created before negotiations for Alex Telles advanced significantly on Sunday, and he is expected to challenge Luke Shaw for the regular left-back berth in Solskjaer’s team.

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