Edinson Cavani is reportedly set to be rewarded for his excellent form at Manchester United with a new contract.
Despite being one of the most prolific strikers in European football in the last decade, the Uruguay international’s arrival didn’t set pulses racing last summer.
He was largely perceived as a stop-gap solution to United’s centre-forward problem - a financially appealing quick-fix rather than a genuine investment into the club’s future.
However, the Uruguay international has proven plenty of people wrong this season.
On Thursday evening he put arguably his most complete display of the season in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final against Roma, scoring two and assisting three in the 6-2 demolition at Old Trafford.
The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Luis Suarez have proven that players are capable of performing at the top level well into their thirties during the 2020/21 season, and Cavani also falls into that bracket judging by his form at United.
A return of 12 goals and five assists in 33 outings across all competitions is an impressive outlay for a player many assumed to be well past his best.
But it is the work that the United veteran does to foster the development of his teammates that makes him such an invaluable member of the dressing room.
Back in October 2020, Cavani was in deep conversation with United prodigy Axel Tuanzebe during training ahead of the club’s Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain, prompting suggestions that he was advising the youngster on how to defend against his former teammates.
That particular incident set the tone for the season.
He has since been seen offering advice to Paul Pogba on through balls ahead of United's clash with Burnley at Turf Moor.
If that wasn't enough, he also spoke with Marcus Rashford about his body positioning during United’s 9-0 dismantling of Southampton earlier this year, which can be seen from minute 2:23 onwards in the video below.
The England international went on to score in the 25th minute.
It’s clear that his influence transcends beyond mere goal scoring output. He is a leader and a teacher, a player who commands genuine respect amongst his teammates.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise to learn that United are reportedly set to announce his contract extension next week.
According to ESPN journalist Moises Llorens, Cavani has had doubts about staying with the Red Devils but is set to sign a new deal despite interest from Argentinian outfit Boca Juniors.
Given how influential Cavani appears to be amongst his teammates, that’s likely to be an incredibly popular announcement as and when it arriveNews Now - Sport News