It’s easy to understand why there’s been a mixed reaction to Manchester United’s signing of Edinson Cavani.
On the one hand, United are getting one of Europe’s elite strikers who has bags of experience at the highest level.
But Cavani is also past his prime and his arrival highlights the lack of clarity in United’s transfer strategy, with the club waiting until the last moment to bring him in.
Cavani evidently wasn’t United’s first choice when they drew up their list of targets. Jadon Sancho will have been above him, and Ousmane Dembele might have been, too.
But what’s done is done. Cavani is a United player and it’s a pretty low-risk move, all things considered.
If he can reach double figures this season while the rest of United’s attackers continue to progress then it can be considered a decent move.
That’s just forecasting, though. We really have no idea how Cavani will get on at Old Trafford.
However, Football Manager might have the answers.
Football Manager sims Man Utd's future
YouTuber Enda Story has simulated the Uruguayan’s time at the club using the popular computer game.
He bought Alex Telles and Facundo Pellistri, too, as well as Amad Traore - who has signed for United in real life but will join at a later date - to see how United’s new arrivals will fare.
First off, let’s take a look at Cavani’s stats.
He has a rating of 18 for heading and bravery and his finishing, natural fitness, composure and anticipation are all high, too.
So, how does the simulation go? Let’s find out…
Cavani’s first season:
Cavani smashes it in his first season, scoring 24 goals in all competitions for United.
Fifteen of those goals arrived in the Premier League, and United activate the clause that extends his contract for another season.
Man United in 2020/21:
Premier League: 3rd
FA Cup: Fourth round
Carabao Cup: Semi-final
Champions League: Semi-final
United finished third in the table, behind champions Man City and second-placed Liverpool. City also beat them in the Champions League semi-finals and go on to win the competition.
Cavani’s second season:
Wow… what on earth happened?
Cavani’s sophomore campaign was a disaster, making just three appearances in all competitions.
That was due to a wild summer in which United signed Jadon Sancho, Hakim Ziyech, Ruben Neves, James Maddison, Gelson Martins and Matko Miljevic, deeming Cavani surplus to requirements.
That’s mad. The former PSG striker leaves at the end of the season.
With all of those new signings, surely United blitzed the league…
Man United in 2021/22:
Premier League: 2nd
FA Cup: Semi-final
Carabao Cup: Won
Champions League: Round-of-16
No, they didn’t.
They finished behind Liverpool in the table after winning just one of their last five league games.
They collect silverware in the form of the Carabao Cup but ultimately, it’s an underwhelming campaign for the club.
Man United in 2022/23:
Premier League: 1st
FA Cup: Fifth round
Carabao Cup: Fourth round
Champions League: Round-of-16
Champions of England!
Man United win the title in 2022/23, winning 31 out of their 38 games and finishing on 95 points.
It only took them 10 years and hundreds of millions in transfer fees…
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