Opinion: Cavani and United were made for each other

Wednesday 19 May 2021 10:00

There are some players who wear the label ‘Manchester United icon’ so comfortably and look the business from day one in a red shirt. Edinson Cavani is one of them.

Eric Cantona and United was a marriage made in heaven. Zlatan Ibrahimovic slotted into the category so well before injury cut short his stunning debut season.

Of course, George Best, Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton’s places in the pantheon of greats is commemorated in bronze on the forecourt of Old Trafford.

There are numerous names in United’s history who deserve their place in the club’s hall of fame.

But there are just a few who manage to form a devoted love affair with the Reds’ support immediately.

Highlights: United 1 Fulham 1 Video

Highlights: United 1 Fulham 1

We may not have got the win, but what a goal it was by Edinson Cavani...

When you are born on Valentine’s Day, like Cavani, it is fitting that you should have so many instant admirers.

The likes of 34-year-old Cavani and Ibrahimovic, who was 35 when he joined United in 2016, leave the salivating fans just wishing they’d been signed up even earlier in their illustrious careers.

Cavani is a goalscoring legend with hundreds of strikes on his CV around Europe and United fans were straight away lauding Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s mouthwatering transfer coup back in October after he had left Paris Saint-Germain in August.

It was an addition to the United squad that many likened to Ibrahimovic’s arrival and subsequent impact on the Reds.

And like the Swede, Cavani has delivered everything Ole and the fans could have wished for.

Apart from the immeasurable influence he’s had on the training ground for younger attacking players like Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, his on-field impact has been sensational.

Sixteen goals is a tremendous return from 38 appearances.
Now where have we seen this before? Video

Now where have we seen this before?

There were some big similarities between Cavani’s strike and the last scored before fans at Old Trafford…

And maybe even more impressive is the fact that he has done that in matches without the vocal backing of fans to bring that little bit extra out of an experienced newcomer.

Cantona was born to the Old Trafford stage and warmed to the fans’ love.

Ibrahimovic, also, fed off the hero worship from the stands.

From his first goal at Goodison against Everton in November to the wonder strike against Fulham, the landing of Cavani has been nothing short of a sensational masterstroke by the boss.

United fans have had to wait a long time to properly welcome him to Old Trafford in person.

The striker, himself, was desperate to play in front of the United support and boy did he do the occasion justice.

It was truly fitting with 10,000 fans inside Old Trafford – the first inside the Theatre of Dreams for 14 months – that he should mark their return with a goal of world-class quality.

The move in the 15th minute against Fulham was joy for those present to witness.

David De Gea’s kick out, Bruno Fernandes’ delicate flick on and Cavani’s wondrous finish, chipped over the Fulham goalkeeper from around 40 yards, were a pleasure to behold.

Cantona: If you have to elect one, it's me Video

Cantona: If you have to elect one, it's me

“The other ones are all great. Me? I'm exceptional,” states Cantona about his Hall of Fame inclusion…

He’s been loved from afar and on social media so far by United fans but this was a moment never to forget as he savoured the response from the Stretford End and around the ground.

It could not have been better scripted.

Superheroes seem to be able to come up with their own astonishing story lines and that is what makes them iconic.

Cavani penned a beauty.

Thank goodness that, all being well, a full Old Trafford will be able to show him their love next season after the South American signed a one-year contract to keep him at Old Trafford for another season recently.