The Roar
The Roar



Solskjaer must play Cavani if he wants to mount a title charge

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)
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28th January, 2021

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is one of history’s best supersubs and one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s most dangerous weapons.

So it’s no surprise that most people would agree with Solskjaer when he talks about his own supersubs, but what I think he’s not getting precise is the player to use.

I like what he’s trying to do with this Manchester United side, which is to pack it with hungry young lads who are ready to fight and win. It’s similar to what Sir Alex did during his time as the Red Devils boss.

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Anthony Martial, showed great signs of staking his claim as a No. 9 last season, and it would be deeply unfair to have him sit on the bench as a backup striker to Edinson Cavani, especially after the young Frenchman played some phenomenal football in the red shirt.


Solskjaer won the argument last season on Martial operating as am in-and-out central forward, but how long will it last?

Regardless of Martial’s performance last year, he can’t be trusted with such role, especially for a club on a quest to win serious silverware. Martial is known for his sleek dribbles, quick feet, one-two passing and curly balls at the edge of the box. He’s in no way a Robert Lewandowski, Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero, Karim Benzema or Solkjaer himself, all of whom are comprehensive goal planners and threats – clinical poachers and in-and-out central forwards.

Solskjaer is trying to build Martial into one of these. It might go well in a short run, but how long will it last?

Football should be played and enjoyed, you play better when you’re in your most suitable position. Can Martial stay off the ball and still be actively involved?

These are all the boxes Edinson Cavani ticks, and in a short space of time he has shown how much quality he possesses. His positioning inside the box, his timing on the ball and his goals are top notch, and most of his strikes have come from the bench.


Irrespective of this, Solskjaer still gives Martial a head start over Cavani. He might be older and not really in Solskjaer’s plans going forward, but for the moment, with United are clamouring and hoping for the title, Solskjaer should have a rethink.

Cavani is his man.