Edinson Cavani is at risk of becoming the ‘modern-day Henrik Larsson’ at Manchester United – Casey Evans

If you’ve read that headline and remember Henrik Larsson as a player, you probably think he was a great player, so why would that be a problem?

Larsson had a long and illustrious career playing for the likes of Celtic and Barcelona. Still, Manchester United fans will fondly remember his loan spell with the club back in 2007, where he scored three goals in 13 games for the club during a three-month loan spell away from Helsingborg.

Now Edinson Cavani has played more games and scored more goals. Still, I think he is at risk of becoming a similar figure in United’s history as time moves on, a cult hero who didn’t fully get a chance to realise his potential during his time at the club.

Injuries, isolation periods and a stacked squad have meant that Cavani has seen limited game time during his spell with the club after being signed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2020. Still, when he has played, he has captured the hearts of the fans and arguably been the best player on the pitch.

His work rate, ability to link up play and movement in the box are all excellent for a player that is approaching 35 years old. Still, with only 18 goals and ten assists so far during his time at the club, fans may look back at these statistics and not truly realise how good he was, especially with the start of this season being tainted by the team’s poor form.

Reports in Argentina have stated that Cavani will reject a move to Boca Juniors. They were interested in signing the striker for free in the summer, as the Uruguayan decided to move to Barcelona in January.

United fans would only get six more months with him as part of the squad if he were to wait till summer. Still, as he has now become a cult hero, like his fellow Uruguayan Diego Forlan and, to some degree, his former manager Solskjaer before him, the fans would relish any opportunity to see the striker play at Old Trafford again.

It would also be a shame to see Cavani leave United without a piece of silverware to his name, as his six goals and six assists in five Europa League games last season were part of the driving force that guided the team to the final, where they lost to Villareal in a painful penalty shootout that went down to the goalkeepers taking.

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Overall, Cavani will be remembered fondly by those who watched him play, me included. Still, unfortunately, if he leaves, he may not get mentioned in the same breath as the great strikers who came before him, nor the ones who may come after under Ralf Rangnick and whichever manager United choose to appoint in the summer, much like Larsson before him.

What is your fondest memory of Edinson Cavani’s short time at Manchester United? Follow our United On My Mind writer Casey Evans on Twitter and get involved in the discussion in the comment section below.

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