Solskjaer on Cavani’s Europa League heroics: ‘That’s why I want to keep him!’

Paul Macdonald
Solskjaer on Cavani’s Europa League heroics: ‘That’s why I want to keep him!’

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has lauded Edinson Cavani after the prolific forward fired Manchester United to their first final under the Norwegian’s reign.

The Red Devils were in full control of their Europa League semi-final second leg when they travelled to Rome on Thursday night after a brace from their 34-year-old striker helped secure a 6-2 victory at Old Trafford a week previous.

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Despite the Italians putting up a good fight, winning the return fixture 3-2, another Cavani double ensured United have a chance of ending their longest trophy drought in over 30 years.

The South American’s strikes took him to 14 goals for the English giants in all competitions this season, despite only making 18 starts due to several minor injury issues and a susoension.

Cavani joined the Old Trafford outfit on a one-year deal last summer after leaving Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent, but his contract has an option to extend his stay for a further 12 months, something Solskjaer is desperate to take advantage of.

“The reason we’re here is because we’ve got a centre-forward who has scored four goals during the tie. Edinson has shown again why we want to keep him at Old Trafford,” said the United boss after their victory aggregate over Roma.

“Football has its own language. Edinson has proven tonight, in previous games and throughout his career what a centre-forward should be doing both on and off the ball, both preparing for games and recovering from games.

“He’s an absolute top professional and everyone in my team can learn from him.”

Will Cavani stay at Man Utd?

The 20-time English champions have made good progress on the pitch under Solskjaer this season. A second-place finish in the Premier League looks well within their grasp, and a place in the Europa League final presents a perfect opportunity for Solskjaer to add some much-needed silverware to his managerial CV.

However, the possible departure of Cavani in the upcoming window would be a big blow to the development and advancement of United. The likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford has previously shown how they aren’t clinical enough to lead the line for a side with Premier League and Champions League ambitions, while Mason Greenwood is still only 19.

Cavani is arguably the only natural striker currently on the books of the Old Trafford outfit, and his presence on the field as well as in the dressing room and in training would be a bitter blow for Solskjaer and co.

Former United defender Marcos Rojo has previously claimed his compatriot is interested in joining him at Argentine giants Boca Juniors next season, but it’s become clear that Solskjaer won’t let Cavani leave without a fight.