Edinson Cavani’s performances have been a major reason behind Manchester United’s rise to the top of the Premier League table this season and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t shy away from admitting that while addressing the media ahead of their match against Sheffield United on Wednesday.
“When a striker of that age runs almost 12 kilometres (seven miles in a game), chases down the keeper, back-tackles midfielders, is a threat in the box, shows humility to come in every day to do his best, his experience and attitude has given every one of us a lesson,” Solskjaer said.
Cavani will turn 34 next month and yet his work rate on the field has been excellent. Moreover, his influence on the young United forwards is clearly visible as well, as they appear to be a much improved lot this season. The Uruguayan striker has four Premier League goals to his name this season.
Solskjaer gave an important update on Marcus Rashford’s availability as well. The manager said that he will be fit to play against Sheffield after the forward walked off the field having tweaked his knee in Sunday’s FA Cup win over Liverpool.
He was also asked about his thoughts on Frank Lampard’s sacking and Solskjaer said that it came as pretty shocking to him. As far as United are concerned, the Norwegian said that the board has always given him to build the squad with a long-term vision. He has 18 months left on his contract right now.
“I’ve said it many a time, we looked at the squad, looked at the situation we were in and we put a longer-term plan in place,” said Solskjaer.
“We knew there would be some patchy periods and that we would have to stay strong mentally but the leadership they have shown has been very strong and steady.
“I’m very grateful for the communication that has been open and honest all of the time.”
Solskjaer also said that he is well aware of how the fans are expecting the club to win the Premier League title considering the position they are in right now. That’s why he is not getting carried away and is focusing on one job at a time.
“We are not getting carried away. We have to get more consistency into our performances,” the 47-year-old said.
“The two teams at the top of the league for the last three seasons have been amazing (Man City and Liverpool).
“In any other season you would have won the league with 20 points less than they have won it with. This is the start of something but we want to keep improving.”