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Edinson Cavani set target before he makes his Manchester United debut

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has set new summer signing Edinson Cavani a series of targets before making his debut for the Old Trafford club. When United signed the Uruguayan on deadline day, he travelled from France and had to self isolate because of the coronavirus restrictions and was only able to train with his new teammates for the first time on Sunday, also training on Monday ahead of the players flying to France to take on Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League group stages on Tuesday evening. Cavani was missing from the group of players who left for France.

The 33-year-old has not played football since his last match for PSG which was the Trophée des Champions 2-1 victory over Stade Rennais on the 3 August 2020. It may be a period of time before the player is deemed fully fit in order to start matches for United and it is hoped that he can start to progress this week so he could feature against Chelsea in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday evening when the two sides meet. Anthony Martial will be missing from the Premier League matches with a three match suspension, missing the clashes with Chelsea and Arsenal. Speaking to the official Manchester United website, Solskjaer said:

“He’s naturally fit. He is fit enough but he needs to play football with the rest of the players and be in those kinds of situations.

“Of course, you can’t live on memory, really, because it’s been a while. He’s very thorough, professional and he knows what he needs and what he wants.

“He still hasn’t ticked all the boxes before he’s available to play.”

Cavani is naturally fit, which is something that Solskjaer stated but in order to fit into the team well, he will need to training around his peers for a period of time. Obviously, he will have that chance this week, despite his teammates flying to Paris for the opening Champions League group stage match. During the rest of the week, Cavani will be able to link up with the teammates who were involved against PSG, working towards making his debut for the club, hopefully against Chelsea which would see United with other forward options. Solskjaer also touched on the fact that Cavani getting his sharpness and fitness back, also talking about Odion Ighalo, saying:

“I think as a team and a club we always want to get players in. And I think Edinson coming in, we’ll give him time to adapt to the Premier League and get his sharpness and fitness back.

“We’ve had some very good performances by Odion [Ighalo] and he’s still a very important part of this squad.”

It will be interesting to see how it works out for Cavani and United this season. It was expected that he could feature against his former club, PSG in the Champions League with the Uruguayan scoring 49 goals in the competition throughout his career. I guess that his 50th goal in the competition will have to wait a little bit longer, perhaps against Red Bull Leipzig on Wednesday 28 October when the Champions League returns to Old Trafford for the first time since the 2018/19 season in which the last match saw United beaten by Barcelona in the semi-finals of the competition. Here’s hoping that Cavani will be fit to play against Chelsea.

Written by John Walker

Facundo Pellistri would like to return to Penarol ‘one day’; that is only inevitable with the player respecting his former club

Manchester United confirmed the signing of 18-year-old Facundo Pellistri on deadline day along with the signings of Alex Telles from FC Porto, free agent Edinson Cavani and a deal to sign Amad Diallo (Traore) from Atalanta was also announced ahead of its completion during the January transfer window. United had already signed Donny van de Beek from Ajax earlier in the summer transfer window. The flurry of late signings seems to have upset many people whether they be supporters of the club, opposition supporters and even the media. The Sun has reported that Pellistri is already working on an exit from the club. Sensationalism at its worst.

The 18-year-old arrived in Manchester on Friday but the likelihood is that he will need to self isolate before he can train with his new teammates or even play for United, so there will be a bit of a wait, unless there is something that would allow him to avoid the isolation period, which might be doubtful. The player had an interview with television station Telemundo in Uruguay in which he spoke about many things from his move to United and how grateful he was to play for Penarol, even holding the door open for a move back to the club ‘one day’, which is where The Sun has decided to manipulate that by suggesting the player is trying to leave already. He said:

“It is incredible that just over a year ago I made my debut in first team. It was unimaginable and to play in the first division with Penarol and now to play for Manchester United, I would never have dreamed of it and it is something very emotional for me and my family.

“There was a lot of talk about the two transfers and luckily they tried to leave me out as much as possible so I would to go crazy. First came Lyon and then Manchester United and I am very happy with the opportunity.

“It’s a league that I always watch with my parents, seeing the great teams and you can’t imagine going to play there. Now that I have the chance to play there, I’m eager to start new adventure and see how the rhythm is and if it is as intense as they say.

“It is the biggest club, I’ve come through the youth system, I was at the club for more than seven years, I lived everything, many experiences, very nice things like debuting at the Campeon del Siglo stadium [Penarol’s home stadium] among others.

“It was a dream and a pleasure to play for the team. I am leaving with a lot of desire to return one day.”

During the 2019 season at Penarol, Pellistri made a total of 20 appearances, scoring one goal and two assists at youth level, showing his skills and determination to be a star for the club. The following season (2020), the 18-year-old would make his debut for the first team, making five appearances, scoring one goal and one assist in the Libertadores, also making a further 12 appearances, scoring no goal but one assist at youth level. The player is a raw talent, just like Diallo, who will arrive at the club in January. It is a positive thing that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has decided to sign two wingers for the club, which give sufficient rotation options in the squad.

Both players might be young and inexperienced but there will be a belief that one of them, or even both could have a career at United in the vein of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was a raw talent when he arrived at United, got involved right away in the first team and free as a player, progressing his talent along the way and becoming a world star, winning Premier League titles, cup competitions and more importantly the UEFA Champions League which also paved the way for him to win the Ballon d’Or for the first time in 2008. It is something that we can only hope for now, seeing more as the months progress. Cavani, a fellow Uruguayan recently spoke to the official Manchester United website about Pellistri, saying:

“Pellistri is a young lad and I really love the way he plays the game. He’s the typical South American footballer who has that mischievous nature to his game, and the way he lives his football is a bit like, as we say in Uruguay, being on el campito, as we call it, a makeshift pitch where you have a kickabout for fun with your mates or whoever.

“He’s a youngster who has a lot to learn but who has a lot to offer too. He’s already shown what he can do at Peñarol, in the games where he’s featured. I’ve liked him from the moment he made his first-team debut at Peñarol, I liked him a lot. He’s coming here to the club, without a doubt determined to learn and mature as a player, but also to make a good contribution here himself.

“Learning his trade here is also going to be a great experience for him. So it’s going to be good meeting up with him and travelling together on this journey in this new chapter for us both.”

Written by John Walker

Manchester United sign 18-year-old winger Facundo Pellistri from Penarol – the second Uruguayan to sign for the club today

Manchester United have confirmed the signing of 18-year-old Uruguayan winger Facundo Pellistri from Penarol. The player has signed a five-year contract at the Old Trafford club with the option for a further year to be added. United were linked to the player in July 2020 with Chelsea also being credited with an interest just days later. It was a bit of a busy transfer deadline day for United with the club confirming Alex Telles, Edinson Cavani, 16-year-old Willy Kambwala from Sochaux, also confirming a deal with Atalanta to sign 18-year-old Amad Diallo (Traore) in January 2021.

This season, playing for Penarol in the Primera División Apertura and the Libertadores, Pellistri has made just five appearances, scoring one goal and one assist at first team level. During his time at Penarol, the 18-year-old has played 37 times, scoring two goals and four assists, so has a way to go during his career. Pellistri is considered as a hot prospect in Uruguay and his club would have liked to keep him the the remainder of the season in South America but United’s insistence that they get the deal done now seemed to have changed that. The player had his medical earlier today and suggestions on Twitter stated that everything was alright with it.

Speaking to the official Manchester United website about his transfer, Pellistri said:

“To join a club with the history of Manchester United is a dream come true. I have learnt a lot at Penarol and I would like to thank them for everything they have done for me. To have the confidence of the manager is an amazing feeling and I know that working with him will be perfect for my development.

“I am coming into a squad full of great players who I will learn from every day. Everyone knows that Manchester United is a club that gives young players an opportunity and I am ready to work hard every day to earn those chances and prove myself in England.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be happy that he has signed three more players for his squad before the closure of the transfer window but has missed out on his number one target, Jadon Sancho. It is expected that Pellistri could be added straight to United’s first team, also some think he might be playing for the U23s first of all. I guess we will have to wait and see. The 18-year-old is considered as a raw talent, much like Cristiano Ronaldo was 17 years ago and there will be hopes that he could step into the footsteps of the Portuguese winger in the future. His addition, alongside Amad Diallo, who will sign in January will be interesting to see.

Solskjaer, speaking about his latest arrival to the official Manchester United website, said:

“Our scouts have followed Facundo for a long time and we believe that he will be a real talent for the long term. Whilst we understand it will take time for him to adapt to the English game, he is capable of having an impact with his pace and ability to beat his opponent.

“Facundo has the perfect platform at Manchester United to develop and he has all of the technical qualities and the right mentality required to become a top player here. We are all looking forward to working with him to fulfil his potential over the coming years.”

United will not be back in action until the 17 October when they face Newcastle United at St James’ Park in the Premier League, which will be their first chance to bounce back from the 6-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Sunday, the second home league match of the season and the second one that United have lost. The likes of Telles, Cavani and Pellistri will add some depth to Solskjaer’s squad with the hope that all three players will add something moving forward. As Solskjaer has said, Telles is an experienced fullback, Cavani is a goalscorer and Pellistri’s pace and ability will add something to the team. There might be some excitement coming.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United sign Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani as the clubs third summer signing

Manchester United have completed the signing of free agent Edinson Cavani who left Paris Saint-Germain in the summer. United had been linked to the 33-year-old Uruguayan centre-forward in the past few seasons with United seeking to sign a striker since the departure of Romelu Lukaku, who signed for Inter Milan last summer after two years at the club. Last season, in what was his final season at PSG, Cavani made a total of 22 appearances for the club, scoring seven goals and three assists. Cavani will sign a one-year contract at the club, with the option of a second year. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was seeking a striker and perhaps Cavani could be a good signing.

The Uruguayan started his youth career at Danubio, playing for the club at first team level for two years before moving to Europe. Cavani made a total of 30 appearances, scoring 12 goals. He moved to Palermo in 2007, making 177 appearances, scoring 37 goals and eight assists for the club. In 2010, he signed for Napoli where he made 138 appearances, scoring 104 goals and 14 assists. In 2013, Cavani signed for Paris Saint-Germain for €64 million, making 301 appearances, scoring 200 goals and 43 assists for the club, continuing his rise in the game. Cavani won six league titles at PSG, his most successful club, winning 19 trophies in total in France.

Speaking to the official Manchester United website about his transfer to the Old Trafford club, Cavani said:

“Manchester United is one of the greatest clubs in the world, so it is a real honour to be here. I’ve worked really hard during the time off and I feel eager to compete and represent this incredible club.

“I have played in front of some of the most passionate supporters in football during my career and I know that it will be the same in Manchester. I cannot wait to experience the Old Trafford atmosphere, when it is safe for the fans to return.

“I look forward to continuing to write my little story inside the book of football and I know that’s why my focus has to remain the same as always – work, work, work. I have had a conversation with the manager and this has increased my desire to wear this beautiful shirt.”

Solskjaer was likely to be seeking to sign a striker this summer, although the club signed Odion Ighalo on loan during the January transfer window, for the remainder of the 2019/20 season, which was extended because of the coronavirus pandemic and extended until the end of January 2021. Ighalo has made 22 appearances for United, scoring five goals and one assist – his last goal was scored against Norwich City in the Emirates FA Cup in June, a 2-1 victory for United. In order to support Anthony Martial, United need a striker that will score goals – Cavani might he him. With Martial’s red card in the 6-1 defeat to Spurs, Cavani’s signing could not come soon enough.

Speaking to the official Manchester United website about his new signing, Solskjaer said:

“Edinson [Cavani] is an experienced ultimate professional who always gives everything for his team. His goalscoring record for club and country is fantastic and we are delighted to sign a player of his calibre.

“He’ll bring energy, power, leadership and a great mentality to the squad but, most importantly, he’ll bring goals. He has had a brilliant career so far, winning trophies at almost every club he has played for, and he still has so much more to give at the highest level.

“The opportunity for our young players to learn from one of Europe’s top goalscorers over the last 10 years is fantastic and it will really benefit them going forward. Edinson knows exactly what it takes to succeed and we are all looking forward to seeing him make an impact at Manchester United.”

United will be out of action for much of the next fortnight because of the international break, which will see the player possibly training with those who have not been selected to play for their countries during the break, preparing for a possible debut against Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday 17 October. Cavani will follow in the footsteps of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who signed for United as a free agent, leaving PSG in the summer of 2016, leaving United as a free agent towards the end of the 2017/18 season, signing for LA Galaxy in the MLS and now playing for former club AC Milan at the tender age of 39.

Written by John Walker

Chelsea join the hunt for Penarol wonderkid Facundo Pellistri, Manchester United’s interest reported in the past week

Premier League club Chelsea have apparently joined in the hunt to sign Penarol wonderkid Facundo Pellistri. It is, however, stated that the London club will have a lot of other European clubs to contest in order to win the race to sign the 18-year-old winger. Manchester United’s interest was reported over the past week or so with the club seeking signings.

Along with United, Manchester City, Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Feel Madrid hold interest in the Uruguayan. United may have an advantage though being that former striker, Diego Forlan is the Penarol manager, however, he did not only play for United so may help another former club sign the player.

Italian news site Calcio Mercato has reported that Juventus seem to be leading the race for the teenager this summer but Chelsea have emerged as the apparent ‘dark horses’ to sign the young prospect. It is stated that Frank Lampard’s side have shown ‘concrete interest’ in Pellistri that will put them on a ‘collision course’ with Manchester City.

Pellistri is vastly becoming a hot prospect in South America after starring in his homeland, Uruguay, on the wing. He has not yet been capped for his country but he holds a Spanish passport and speaks English fluently. His current contract will last until the summer of 2022 and he has a £10million release clause inserted in it.

It has been suggested by The Athletic that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will ask his former teammate, Forlan, for advice on the 18-year-old, presumably thread of the summer transfer window opening later this summer. United, of course, will need to get through the season first, facing Southampton in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Monday.

Solskjaer will be seeking to add some quality to his squad this summer with the club interested in signing Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund, Jack Grealish of Aston Villa, amongst other names that continually seem to be linked to the Old Trafford club. One thing is for sure though, United do need to strengthen this summer in order to take on the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City to challenge for the Premier League title.

Manchester United eye swoop for Uruguayan Facundo Pellistri trained by Diego Forlan – reports

Manchester United are apparently plotting a transfer swoop for Penarol’s Uruguayan teenage star Facundo Pellistri, according to reports. The 18-year-old is vastly becoming a hot prospect in South America, starring in Uruguay on the wing, which is a position that United need to concentrate on signing a player for this summer.

Former United striker, Diego Forlan is the manager of boyhood club Penarol and has been since December 2019. It has been suggested by The Athletic that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will speak to his former teammate for advice on the 18-year-old ahead of launching a potential swoop for the teenager as soon as the transfer window opens this summer.

It is reported that Penarol know that they will find it hard to keep hold of Pellistri this summer and he has a £10 million release clause as part of his contract. It is also stated that Real Madrid and Manchester City could increase the competition for the player with both clubs recently having an eye for the player. United could be onto something here.

Pellistri has not yet made his international debut for his country but the player holds a Spanish passport and speaks English which would ensure a smooth transition to Europe, should that opportunity arise this summer or beyond. His current contract with Penarol will expire in the summer of 2022 after signing a contract extension back in February 2020.

The player is said to be happy at Penarol but if Solskjaer received a glowing report on the player and the trajectory of his career, which will need to be on the up to end up playing for a club such as United, he could be on the way to pastures new. Solskjaer, speaking about new signings, seemingly playing down big signings, recently said:

“You have a certain DNA and identity when you play for Man United or work for Man United, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the canteen or laundry or in admin or on the pitch, you’ve got to be a certain type of character for me.

“I’m very old school in my values. I’m not going to rant and rave. I’d rather open the door or close the door. Either in or out.

“Players who want to sign if they don’t feel right as a person you close the door, players who are inside who don’t feel right and don’t want to contribute to the team ethos and have the betterment of the team at heart then you open the door and let them leave.

“It’s a constant process. Whatever you do every day, that will decide if you’re going to be part of Man United or not.

“I hope and believe I will always stay true to my principles and values of that.”

This season, playing for Penarol in the Primera División Apertura and the Libertadoresm Pellistri has made just five appearances and is yet to score a single goal, already assisting once. During his time at Penarol, the 18-year-old has played 25 times, scoring one goal and three assists, so has a way to go during his career. United could do worse this summer and there is an unknown factor in signing players like Pellistri, which is exciting. Perhaps Solskjaer might conduct some interesting business.

copyright: JW