Edinson Cavani’s Manchester United career is over after two years at Old Trafford, the second of which was derailed by numerous injury issues and complaints of homesickness
Edinson Cavani leaves Manchester United with a “bitter taste” in his mouth – but with nothing but gratitude to the club’s supporters.
The Uruguayan will leave Old Trafford this summer, with his contract expiring at the end of June. Cavani ended his time with the Red Devils by playing the full 90 minutes in the final-day defeat at Crystal Palace.
And there was a tinge of cruel irony about being fit enough to do so, after going through the entire campaign struggling with injury. Signed after leaving Paris Saint-Germain in 2020, the veteran striker quickly became a fans favourite, ending his first season at the club with 17 goals in all competitions.
Then-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer went out of his way to convince the homesick Cavani to stay in Manchester for another year, ultimately reaching an agreement on a 12-month contract extension. But what followed was a severe case of second-season syndrome, with injury issues adding to reports of general unhappiness at the club.
On several occasions, it was deemed that Cavani effectively ruled himself out of games through injury, leaving United legend Paul Scholes to brand him a “disgrace”. He told Premier League productions: “Cavani I think was a disgrace this year, he hardly ever played.
“He pulled out of the Middlesbrough game because he had to travel back from wherever he was. Funnily enough, since that Middlesbrough game I think I heard last night United have won only five out of 18 games or something since then.”
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But while Cavani could admit that his second season at Old Trafford had left him with some regrets, he insists he will leave the club with a “happy memory” of his relationship with fans.
“I sincerely have nothing but words of gratitude towards the fans and supporters of Manchester United,” he told the club’s media team. “Honestly, they have shown me a lot of respect from the very first moment I arrived. I think they’ve greatly recognised all the hard work I’ve always tried to put in in the best way possible, giving my best for this team.
“I really am very grateful, and I’ll be leaving here with a happy memory of that affection they showed me and always displayed.”
Cavani added: “I wanted to contribute more this season. One of the things that has left me with a slightly bitter taste is that when we had a highly enjoyable and pretty decent [2020/21] season, we weren’t able to have the supporters along with us.
“And now, this season, with the fans coming back into the grounds and stadiums, I haven’t really been able to have the kind of campaign, if I’m being honest, on a personal front that I would really have liked.
“Where I would have been able to score the kind of goals I did last season, and then be celebrating them a bit more with the fans – the kind of stuff that it’s great for a forward or a striker to be doing.
“But I want to sincerely thank the fans from the bottom of my heart, because they have always shown me a lot of affection, and that is very important for a footballer.”