‘Cavani hasn’t ticked all the boxes at Man Utd’ – Solskjaer says striker ‘can’t live on memory’

Edinson Cavani Man Utd Composite
The Red Devils boss is confident that the Uruguayan will prove to be a shrewd addition, but admits that he needs to work on his match sharpness

Edinson Cavani “still hasn’t ticked all the boxes” at Manchester United, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the experienced striker unable to “live on memory” when it comes to making a Red Devils debut.

The Uruguayan frontman was taken to Old Trafford on deadline day of the summer transfer window.

He had been sat in the free agent pool for a few months by the time that deal was done, with United exploring other options before turning to the proven 33-year-old.

Questions have been asked of whether Cavani can deliver the goods in English football, but plenty are tipping him to make a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-style impact for United.

Solskjaer believes the former Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain star will prove to be a shrewd addition in time, but admits he cannot be thrown in at the deep end before working on his match sharpness.

The United boss told the club’s official website after taking the decision to leave Cavani out of a Champions League opener that would have seen him reunited with PSG: “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.”

While Cavani will play no part on Tuesday in the familiar surrounds of Parc des Princes, the likes of Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial are heading back home.

Solskjaer believes his France internationals will be determined to put on a show, saying: “I think it will inspire everyone.

“Paul and Anthony being back home, it adds a little bit of spice. French players want to do well in this fantastic stadium. Everyone’s ready.” 

A positive start to their continental campaign in the so-called ‘Group of Death’ is imperative for United, with Solskjaer conceding that 10 points may not be enough to guarantee progress as the Red Devils prepare to lock horns with PSG, RB Leipzig and Istanbul Basaksehir.

He added: “It should be enough, then again it’s a difficult group.

“I remember in ’99, we all had two wins and four draws. It was decided on goals scored. Of course, you can’t get 10 points [against PSG], but it’s a good chance to get off to a good start.”