Manchester United supporters are becoming increasingly unhappy with Edinson Cavani’s lack of playing time.
He is regarded as one of United’s top attacking assets when he is available, not just for his goal-scoring prowess, but also for his ability to aggressively press and bother opposing defences without the ball.
Despite this, public appearances continue to be in short supply.
Cavani has missed the last three games due to a groyne injury, and he missed Sunday’s Premier League triumph over Leeds due to a gastrointestinal illness.
Ralf Rangnick stated this week that he will miss Manchester United’s Champions League round-of-16 first-leg match against Atletico Madrid.
The temporary boss stated, “No, Edi will not be able to make the trip.” “He didn’t train, and he hasn’t trained in the last few weeks, so he won’t be in the group.”
“He has groyne issues, and pushing him and forcing him back into training makes no sense as long as he doesn’t feel able to run fully. He’s gained enough self-awareness to know when he’ll be totally available again.”
Cavani’s current contract is set to expire in the summer. Despite his age, the Uruguayan’s time at Old Trafford had been extended for another year by certain fans until recently.
However, it appears that only a small number of fans believe this, with the majority preferring to see him replaced by a younger forward who is more trustworthy in terms of availability.
As is customary, United has been connected with a slew of new strikers, but one name who has slipped under the radar is Sassuolo forward Gianluca Scamacca.
Scamacca is significant because, according to Fbref’s player comparison tool, the 23-year-old has one of the most similar statistical profiles to Cavani’s.
The forward took some time to prove himself at senior level, which is why he isn’t mentioned as much as some of the continent’s other talented young forwards. The Sassuolo man, on the other hand, has had a great breakout year in the last 12 months.
While out on loan at Genoa last season, he scored 12 goals and added two assists. Despite the fact that there is still almost a third of the season left, he has kicked on again this season at Sassuolo and is only two goals short of that return.
Beyond his goal-scoring abilities, it’s his on-field demeanour that may explain why he’s compared to Cavani so much.
Because of his stature (6ft5in), he is an ideal target man and aerial danger, but he is also a willing runner into channels and can link well with teammates around him.
Scamacca will also press hard without the ball, and his offensive third pressure rate (6.57 per 90) is among the top attackers in Serie A this season.
His excellent form this season has piqued the interest of a number of prominent European clubs, with Inter Milan being the frontrunners to sign him.
Yet, from a United standpoint, he checks a lot of boxes and shouldn’t be overlooked this summer, especially considering that Cavani’s departure now appears to be a foregone conclusion.