‘We’re not the same, I always had studs on!’ – Solskjaer pokes fun at Manchester United’s new super sub Cavani

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Edinson Cavani Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
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The Red Devils boss saw the experienced Uruguayan step off the bench to net a match-winning brace at Southampton, but his entrance had been delayed

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has joked that he is nothing like Manchester United’s new super sub Edinson Cavani as he “was always ready and had studs on”.

During Sir Alex Ferguson’s iconic reign at Old Trafford, the Red Devils were blessed with an abundance of attacking riches. Solskjaer formed part of that fold for 11 years, scoring 126 goals in 366 appearances.

Many of those came from off the bench, with his most memorable contribution coming in the 1999 Champions League final when he snatched the most dramatic of winners against Bayern Munich to complete their historic treble.

United have looked to others for similar shows of inspiration down the years, with Cavani the latest striker on their books.

At 33 years of age, and with adjustments having to be made to life in English football, the Uruguayan has been used sparingly to this point.

He has, however, shown that none of his predatory instincts have deserted him, with his first goal for the club against Everton followed by a match-winning brace in his last outing at Southampton.

Cavani made one and scored a couple against the Saints as United battled back from two down to claim another three points on the road, but his introduction at the interval was delayed as he decided to change his studs.

Solskjaer is able to laugh about that now, having seen the experienced performer choose the worst possible time to tinker with his footwear, and is eager to avoid comparisons.

“We’re not the same types of players,” United’s manager told reporters when reflecting on Cavani’s input at St Mary’s. “I’ve not made him, he’s made himself. He reminds me of Andy Cole by the way, with his movement inside the box; he’s so sharp, clever, great timing.

“He’s not learned off me because he wasn’t ready when the second half started. I was always ready and had studs on, so he made us wait a little bit too much for my liking!”

While questioning Cavani’s time management, Solskjaer was delighted to see Cavani heeding advice that he was once given by Ferguson when it comes to the art of goalscoring.

The Norwegian added: “Sometimes, when we’ve scored goals, it had to be the 'perfect' goal, walking it in, with an extra pass and great skill.

“Edinson has been around the block and scored so many goals and played football for so long. He’s been between those posts so many times, he’s seen this game before, he’s scored that goal before.

"He knows exactly where to move and his best friend in the box is what Sir Alex always used to tell me: 'Your best friend in the box is space', and he gets into that space with perfect timing.”

Solskjaer went on to say: “He’s got all the attributes for a top-class footballer and human being.

”He’s had a great career and scored goals wherever he’s been. He’s so professional, so meticulous in his preparation, in his recovery, what he does at meal-times, before the game, during the game. So I was surprised when he didn’t have his boots on when the second half started.

“Also, to have a focal point in the box is important for us, we’ve not really had that since Romelu [Lukaku] left. Anthony [Martial], Marcus [Rashford], Mason [Greenwood], they’re different types of forwards. He gives us a great balance and a mix, so we wanted to mix it up and had an impact.”

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