How Cavani could line up at Man Utd in battle for striker spot with Martial


It’s been a long time coming, but Manchester United finally look like they will sign a new forward in the summer transfer window.

Up to this point, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had to settle for just one arrival, with Donny van de Beek signing from Ajax in a deal worth £40million.

A whole host of forwards have been linked, as the United boss looks to add more firepower to his squad.

Jadon Sancho has been the name most paired with United, but his £108million price-tag means he is likely to remain with Borussia Dortmund.

Cavani is closing in on a move to Old Trafford

Ousmane Dembele has also been linked, but it looks like it will be Edinson Cavani arriving on Monday’s deadline.

The former PSG forward is closing in on a free transfer, after the striker agreed to a short-term deal at Old Trafford.

Cavani is expected to complete a medical over the weekend, before being confirmed as a Manchester United player shortly after.

Manchester United are looking to plot their path back to the top. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already brought in Donny van de Beek but Jadon Sancho remains Manchester United’s number one target.

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But how will United line up with the Uruguayan in their starting XI?

Former Red Devils striker Romelu Lukaku has warned that the addition of another forward will hinder the trio currently leading the line for Solskajer.

He said: “I hear a lot of people saying, ‘Let’s buy another this, let’s buy another striker, let’s buy that’.

“If you buy another striker what are you going to do with Anthony? Anthony is a good player. He’s young. He’s now being the No 9 at a great club. Last year he scored 23 goals.

Lukaku has warned signing a striker could hinder Mason Greenwood’s progression

“Then you have Mason’s transition that is going to happen any time soon from right wing to number nine, and Mason is a killer. Like, I’ve seen him first-hand. He’s got something.”

For much of 2020, United have started games with Mason Greenwood on the right, Anthony Martial down the middle and Marcus Rashford on the left.

Rashford’s form has made him one of the first names on the team-sheet and his place looks fairly secure.

Martial is building a reputation through the middle, but Cavani’s advancing years means he is likely to be tasked with playing centrally.

That leaves Greenwood or Martial to battle it out for the spot on the right-wing. Long-term, Greenwood will see himself playing as a centre-forward and learning from a player like Cavani could be valuable.

Martial doesn’t have too much experience on the right, but create a fluid front-three, should he and Rashford swap wings during games.

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Who do Man Utd need to sign before the transfer window closes? Have your say here.

Solskajer could shift Martial to the right and allow Greenwood to learn from the experienced Cavani

A second option is a bold way of using all of Solskjaer’s attacking talents.

Just as Frank Lampard is working out how to fit in all of Chelsea’s forwards, the United boss now faces a similar conundrum.

A potential solution for that, against the weaker teams, where United will expect to dominate possession and face a low-block, they could go all out attack.

Sacrificing a deep-lying midfielder in Nemanja Matic could mean that United could play three behind Cavani, including Rashford in a No.10 position.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could drop a midfield player and use Rashford in the hole, behind Edinson Cavani

This would mean that Martial could shift over to his preferred left-hand side, while also using Greenwood in the position he has flourished in during his fledgling career.

Question marks remain over whether Cavani is really the type of forward United need at present, particularly as he has little experience on the right-hand side.

In fact, of United’s four forward players, three could play on the left, meaning that Solskjaer will need to shuffle his deck to keep a balanced side.

Either way, after months of frustration, a new signing is imminent.

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