Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani are yet to play together for Manchester United, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested that may soon change ahead of the Premier League clash with Aston Villa
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Cristiano Ronaldo to form an “exciting” partnership with Edinson Cavani which will unlock deep-lying Premier League defences.
The two forwards are yet to be on the pitch at the same time for Manchester United, with Cavani ruled out with a knock since Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford.
But the Uruguayan has returned to fitness ahead of Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa, meaning he could line up alongside the five-time Ballon d’Or winner for the first time.
Solskjaer is delighted to have the two experienced forwards at his disposal and provided a glimpse of how he could unleash them together.
“It’s exciting and exciting to see those two together,” Solskjaer said of Ronaldo and Cavani on Friday.
“I’m sure that’ll be a good partnership as well, we see teams dropping deep against us, not giving space in behind and they’re two boys you’d like to see in that scenario, I can see those two working well together.”
Solskjaer’s comments suggest he could turn to Ronaldo and Cavani as a physical two-man battering ram if the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood are having no joy against deep blocks.
There have been murmurs Cavani is “unhappy” with Ronaldo’s presence in the side, which is sure to have a detrimental impact on his minutes.
But Solskjaer insists the Portugal captain is a team player and his movement will “give space” for others to flourish.
“I think Cristiano has been used to that ever since he came to the club, maybe more in the last 15 years of his career,” said Solskjaer of the weight of expectation on the 36-year-old.
Does Edinson Cavani still fit into Manchester United’s strongest starting XI after Cristiano Ronaldo’s return? Have your say in the comments.
“In his first few years everyone tried to kick him because you wanted to stop him and then he became such a top player everyone had to have an eye on him, his record.
“He’s used to that challenge, we’re a team, more than just Cristiano and the players I’ve got to choose from would enjoy if they had too much of an eye on Cristiano, it might give space for others.”
Cavani, 34, will also be pleased to see Solskjaer confirm Ronaldo is “not going to play every game”.
Asked whether the Real Madrid legend is undroppable, the Norwegian responded: “We knew he was gonna have a great impact on and off the pitch and Cristiano is still so professional, the discipline he’s showed throughout his career to make the most of it has rubbed off on teammates.
“[I’ve] Been delighted, he’s a different man now to when I played with him.
“He’s been absolutely top, work-rate, attitude into games, communication, he knows he’s not going to play every game but that’s a good chat to have with me when he won’t be ready.”
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