Manchester United have been warned that new signing Edinson Cavani will take time before he is anywhere near to being fit enough to play for the first team. ESPN pundit Julien Laurens discussed the new signing and what it means for Anthony Martial.
Cavani became one of five signings made by United on transfer deadline day.
The striker inked a one-year contract at Old Trafford after spending some time away from football following the expiration of his Paris Saint-Germain contract.
The world-class poacher hasn’t played since March, due to the Ligue 1 season ending prematurely after the Covid-19 outbreak in France.
Cavani left PSG in the summer and wasn’t included in any of their Champions League games after the restart, and began training on his own while he looked for a club.
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He was reportedly close to signing for Benfica earlier in the summer, but the move fell through due to the financial aspects of the deal.
The same happened with a proposed move to Atletico Madrid, leaving him still without a club into the final days of the window.
And Laurens believes his time away from football will mean he joins United nowhere near at the condition he needs to be in order to play in the first-team.
Speaking to ESPN FC, he explained that Martial will still be United’s first-choice striker once he returns from his three-match suspension for slapping Eric Lamela, in part because of his relationship with Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford.
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“He hasn’t played football since February and hasn’t trained with a squad since February,” Laurens said of Cavani.
“He’s not fit, even if he kept himself fit on his own or with a fitness coach maybe in the last few weeks. But he’s not ready to go back into a team and play games, I don’t think any time soon.
“He’ll need a little bit of time to work on his fitness, to work with the coaches there before he can even think about playing at United. Then, what do you do with Martial?
“I still think that Martial, with the way he played last season and his relationship with Rashford, Pogba and Fernandes, his relationship is well established compared to Edinson Cavani.
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“I don’t think he’ll walk straight in, I think Martial will still be number one. But Cavani will add something different to the team, he can be reliable and dependent on the rest of the team.
“He’s a poacher, that’s what he does. He doesn’t link up the play, he doesn’t participate in anything else but scoring goals.
“If the service isn’t there he’s not going to be very useful to Manchester United.
“The team will have to work a lot for him and serve him well for him to be able to score, which is very different to Anthony Martial. They’re two different profiles.”
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