Edinson Cavani has the quality and temperament to shine at Manchester United, says Ryan Giggs – but there will be pressure on him straight away.
The experienced Uruguay forward is set to join on a one-year deal with the option of a further 12 months, following his exit from Paris Saint-Germain earlier this summer.
Cavani, 33, left as PSG’s all-time leading goalscorer with 200 strikes in all competitions. He has 50 senior goals and a Copa America title for his country, and has top-scored in Ligue 1 and Serie A at club level, hitting 30 goals or more in six of the last 10 seasons.
But, having registered just four league goals in 14 appearances last year, some have raised concerns that Cavani is past his best.
Fans are wary that United could end up paying a huge wage to an underperforming forward as they did with Radamel Falcao and Alexis Sanchez.
“It goes without saying he's a world star,” Wales manager Giggs said at a press conference.
“My second game (as Wales manager) was against Uruguay and Cavani scored and I was really impressed with his work rate and quality.
“It's about how quickly he beds in. We have seen South Americans who haven't really come and done it like Falcao, [Angel] Di Maria and Sanchez, but Cavani, with his work rate, you expect him to make it.”
Before joining PSG in 2013, Cavani announced himself as a world-class forward by scoring 104 goals in 138 games for Napoli. He had previously spent four seasons at Palermo after moving to Europe from Uruguayan side Danubio.
Giggs doesn’t think the weight of expectation at a club of United’s size will sit too heavily on him, but he will be expected to deliver straight away.
“I think Cavani will have no problem with the size of the club. He's got the experience to handle that.
“But eyes will be on him straight away and if he does come, he'll have to hit the ground running because the pressure will be on.”
While United fans will no doubt expect an instant impact from Cavani, he may be short of match sharpness. He didn't extend his PSG contract to play in the Champions League after lockdown, so his last game was the 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in March, almost seven months ago.