Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Discusses Edinson Cavani’s Positive Impact on Man Utd’s Young Players

Edinson Cavani
Edinson Cavani netted his maiden Manchester United goal in the victory over Everton two weeks ago | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

While his on-pitch impact has been minimal thus far, Edinson Cavani is said to be playing a huge role off the field in inspiring Manchester United’s younger stars.

The forward arrived at Old Trafford on deadline day in October and has notched just 93 minutes of action in a United shirt, scoring in the Red Devils’ 3-1 win over Everton before the international break.

Fred, Edinson CavaniFred, Edinson Cavani
The Uruguayan celebrates his first United goal | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

However, while opportunities from a playing perspective have been hard to come by, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is nonetheless thrilled with the impact Cavani’s having on United’s youngsters.

The Red Devils currently boast the fourth-youngest squad in the Premier League with an average age of 25.6. Only Aston Villa, Brighton and Chelsea have younger.

“Edinson has experienced everything in football,” said Solskjaer (via the Daily Mirror). “The challenge with him, with the likes of Brandon and Mason, is the language barrier.

“Edinson doesn’t really speak a lot of English yet. He’s learning. But they can see by his commitment, desire, every day in training.

Edinson CavaniEdinson Cavani
The language barrier isn’t stopping Cavani from inspiring United’s younger generation | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

“In the squad you need a mix, a balance between experience and youth. For our young players they have some great role models in Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, David de Gea, Edinson, the over 30s.

“We don’t have many of them but they’re very important. I like youth, I like enthusiasm, passion, but you need that experience as well. That’s why we brought Edinson in.”

One of the talents Cavani is looking to buoy is 19-year-old Mason Greenwood, who, after bursting onto the scene with ten Premier League goals last term, has endured a 2020/21 campaign plagued by off-field issues and unjust media criticism.

Mason GreenwoodMason Greenwood
Mason Greenwood is back in contention for the Red Devils | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Solskjaer, though, is confident the teenager will overcome this current difficult period: “You have to take a step back sometimes. The boy’s only 19 and he’s had a fantastic year.

“Everyone’s allowed to not be well, he’s been away eight or nine days from training, but I have no doubts about him. He has a very good head on him and the talent is there for all to see.”

After missing the trip to Goodison Park before the break, Greenwood is said to be back in contention for United’s clash with West Brom on Saturday night.