Michael Owen praised Edinson Cavani after the veteran striker opened his account for Manchester United in the side’s 3-1 win over Everton – but questioned whether the veteran striker would get the service he needs to become a goalscoring force for the club.
Eyebrows were raised as the Red Devils brought in Cavani, 33, on a free transfer on deadline day – considering his age and lack of football in recent months – and the Uruguayan was without a goal in his four opening substitute appearances.
The former Paris Saint-Germain star once again started on the bench at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon but seized his opportunity after replacing Anthony Martial with eight minutes remaining of the Premier League clash.
Bruno Fernandes unselfishly passed to Cavani while on a hat-trick in the dying moments of the game and United’s summer arrival made no mistake with a calm finish past Jordan Pickford from close range.
‘I don’t need to think about a hat-trick,’ Fernandes told BBC Sport when asked why he chose to pass to Cavani rather than shoot himself.
‘For a striker it is important to score for his confidence.
‘He will be important for us and the first goal will give him confidence.’
Reacting to Cavani’s first goal in United colours, Owen told Premier League Productions: ‘In terms of the finish, I like players that actually place the ball rather than just smacking it.
‘He opens his body up, pretends he’s going to the far corner, gives the goalkeeper the eyes and whips his leg over and knocks it into the near post.
‘And Cavani is off and running. Some players are brilliant regardless, some players don’t necessarily need crosses into the box because they can make an impact regardless.
‘I’ve watched this lad for years and years, there’s not many players I’ve seen with movement like him in the box when the ball is coming in.’
‘Manchester United of old, he would have scored hundreds of goals in those teams,’ the ex-United, Liverpool and England striker added.
‘Now, are they going to get lots of crosses into the box and cut-backs that he preys on?
‘It’s a very good signing, I just hope he gets the ammunition to fire the bullets.’