Saturday, June 19, 2021

Cavani´s Man Utd success doesn´t surprise Forlan ahead of Europa League final

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 25 May 2021

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Edinson Cavani’s success at Manchester United has not come as a surprise to former Red Devils and Uruguay forward Diego Forlan.

Cavani has starred since joining United on a free transfer from Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain at the start of the 2020-21 season – the veteran’s exploits resulting in a one-year contract extension.

The 34-year-old has scored 16 goals across all competitions this term – above his expected goals (xG) of 13.6 – as United prepare for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Villarreal, having finished runners-up to Manchester City in the Premier League.

Cavani boasts a 128.9 minutes-to-goal ratio in 2020-21 – the best mark among his United team-mates, ahead of Bruno Fernandes (159.3), Marcus Rashford (192.1) and Mason Greenwood (254.0).

Forlan, who played alongside Cavani for Uruguay, hailed the in-form United star.

“Edinson Cavani is a great player, I know him. We played alongside each other for many years in the national team, I am really happy for him,” Forlan said.

“Surprised? No. No, because I know his capacity and the way he plays. He is a very professional athlete, a good guy.

“So I am not surprised, I knew that he would be the player that he is now, and I am really happy for him that he will continue for one year more [at United].”

Cavani has scored five goals and provided two assists in only 247 minutes of Europa League action this season, averaging either a goal or an assist every 35 minutes – the best return of any player with at least 200 minutes played in the competition this campaign.

He could become the third player aged 34 or above to score in a major European final for an English club, after Gary McAllister (36) for Liverpool in the UEFA Cup final against Deportivo Alaves in 2000-01 and Didier Drogba (34) for Chelsea in the Champions League decider versus Bayern Munich in 2011-12.

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