Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani’s superb performances over two legs of the side’s Europa League semi-final against AS Roma are exactly why they want to keep the Uruguayan at Old Trafford, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said.
The 34-year-old scored two goals and provided two assists in United’s 6-2 victory in the first leg at Old Trafford and struck twice again in Thursday’s 3-2 defeat in the return fixture as the English side reached the final with an 8-5 aggregate win.
In the title clash of Europe’s second-tier club competition, United will meet Spanish side Villarreal in Gdansk on May 26.
“The reason we’re here is because we’ve got a centre-forward who has scored four goals in the tie,” Solskjaer said of Cavani in his post-match news conference. “Edinson has shown again why we want to keep him at Old Trafford.”
Cavani arrived at United on a one-year contract in October with an option of another 12 months, but remains undecided about his future after a difficult season, which included a social media faux pas that resulted in a three-game ban.
He has scored 14 goals from 34 matches in all competitions while leading the line brilliantly and finding the net in key moments.
“Football has its own language. Edinson has proven tonight, in previous games, throughout his career, what a centre forward should be doing both on and off the ball, both preparing for games and recovering from games,” Solskjaer said.
“He’s an absolute top professional and everyone in my team can learn from him.”
Solskjaer’s side, who are second in the Premier League, next face Aston Villa on Sunday before matches against Leicester City on Tuesday and bitter rivals Liverpool in a rearranged fixture on Thursday.
The Norwegian said the fixture list had been made by “people who have never played football at this level.”
“It’s physically impossible for the players,” he said. “We’re going to need everyone for these games. It’s a short turnaround but we have to be ready.”