The former Red Devils defender insists the Uruguayan striker will bring a lot to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad despite his advancing years
Mason Greenwood will benefit most from Edinson Cavani’s arrival at Old Trafford, according to Rio Ferdinand, who says the ex-Paris Saint-Germain star can “teach” the Manchester United teenager how to lead the line.
United snapped Cavani up on a free transfer on deadline day, tying him down to a one-season contract with the option of an extra year.
A few eyebrows were raised over the deal due to the fact the 33-year-old had been without a club since leaving PSG in June, and his unfortunate injury record in recent years, but his goalscoring record at the highest level speaks for itself.
The Uruguayan has 341 career goals to his name to date, 200 of which were scored during his time at Parc des Princes, and he’s also hit 51 in 116 appearances for his country at international level.
PSG’s all-time record goalscorer will now be charged with helping the Red Devils bounce back from a poor start to the season, while providing high-quality competition in the final third for Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.
All three men enjoyed prolific 2019-20 campaigns, with Greenwood emerging as arguably the brightest academy graduate at Old Trafford of the past decade, but the goals have dried up over the last few weeks.
Ferdinand thinks Cavani can play a key role in the 19-year-old’s ongoing development due to his experience and mentality on and off the pitch, having seen Henrik Larsson have a similar impact at the club during his playing days.
“I highlighted Cavani as a player to buy during the last transfer window because we’ve got three supremely talented young strikers who need help,” the United legend said on his YouTube channel FIVE.
“They’re going to need assistance. Martial is a prime example because he’s going to be suspended now (after his red card against Tottenham) and we need someone to step in.
“The way Cavani plays, the way he applies himself, the way he trains, his experience, what he could teach the likes of Mason Greenwood.
“He’s scored so many goals and won multiple trophies. For Greenwood to watch him on a daily basis, he will benefit the most. Is he long term? No, he’s not.
“But I played in a team where we brought Henrik Larsson in. You ask the strikers like Wayne Rooney if he brought value to the squad? The answer is yes.
“If Cavani can have that effect with this group of players then it’s worthwhile. Listen, he’s a top player. Experienced, gets goals, he’s someone who will be good value for the club.”
Ferdinand advised United to sign Cavani during the winter transfer window, and has now revealed that he even got in contact with the Uruguay international to try and convince him to make a move to Old Trafford.
He added: “It’s mad because I reached out to Cavani on social media in January.
“I used to do it as a player. I would get hold of players and ask, “would you come to Manchester United?” Because I’m a fan! I message players all the time.
“Listen, Cavani was flattered that someone connected to the club was saying that. I thought he would jump at the chance [to join] and that’s what has happened.”