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Diego Forlan believes the ailing Man Utd season could have been remedied if a different set of decisions had been made regarding Edinson Cavani.
It is fair to say the current campaign at Manchester United have not gone how many predicted in pre-season. Hopes of a successful season were sky high after United bought Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.
While this trio have all had moderate levels of success during this period, the club’s overall fortunes have taken a dive.
In fact, United are now sure to go another season without lifting silverware. Their last major honors came in 2017, when Jose Mourinho guided them to a League Cup and a Europa League double.
What’s more, the Red Devils may also miss out on qualifying for next season’s Champions League. Arsenal are the current frontrunners to win fourth place and have a match in hand over United.
Putting your finger on exactly what has gone wrong at United this season is an inevitable task.
But according to former United striker Diego Forlan, their season would have been smoother if other Uruguayan Edinson Cavani had played a bigger role.
The 35-year-old has spent most of the season either injured or on the bench. His reduced minutes in form are a direct consequence of Ronaldo’s arrival and Cavani has only scored two goals across all tournaments this season.
That’s far from the 17 he scored last year, including 10 goals in his last 11 games to round off the season.
Forlan reckons United’s poor fortunes are linked to Cavani’s lack of action.
Forlan critical of Cavani handling
“I think at United, if he had the opportunity to play many games in a row, he would have scored many, many important goals for the club.” said Forlan via the Mirror.
“He did it last season, if you remember. In the end, he played a lot of matches before the Europa League final, and you could see in the way that a lot of people stood behind him, players and the way he took the team to the next level.
“Why? Because he played most games. This season he started the season injured and then he did not play for some reason that I do not know.
“He has never played two or three games in a row and it is difficult for a player to perform well if he does not have many games.”
Cavani’s contract expires this summer and all signs point to a free agent exit. Actual transfer guru Fabrizio Romano confirmed that the striker’s plan is to leave Old Trafford.
Where he ends up, only time will tell. But in Forlan’s opinion, Cavani has done enough already in his 20-month stay in Manchester to be remembered with delight by the fans.
He concluded: “Edinson has been a very professional player, very strong physically, and you saw exactly why he was signed at the end of last season.”