Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez says Manchester United summer signing Edinson Cavani was not considered for the side’s upcoming clashes with Chile and Ecuador due to a lack of match fitness.
Cavani’s hasn’t played a single minute of first-team football since March, when Paris Saint-Germain got the better of Borussia Dortmund to book their place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
The last-16 tie turned out to be Cavani’s final game for PSG and the 33-year-old joined United on a free transfer this week, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to add strength to his attacking options at Old Trafford.
But the veteran striker will have to wait for his United debut as he will still be in quarantine when the Red Devils travel to St James’ Park to face Newcastle after the international break.
And a lack of match sharpness – after seven months without a competitive appearance- ruled him out of Uruguay’s World Cup qualification matches with Chile and Ecuador over the coming days.
‘He reached an agreement to not complete his contract and, obviously, that made him inactive,’ Tabarez said at a press conference on Tuesday.
‘And afterwards, he didn’t work with any club during this time.
‘That made us consider the risks of having a player who wasn’t active and how it could hurt the national team.
‘Because he feels he doesn’t know how to play in a different way than giving it everything.’
Luis Suarez believes the loss of such an ‘important’ player would hit any team hard but is confident Uruguay have the quality to cope in Cavani’s absence.
‘The absence of an important player like Cavani will always be felt,’ Suarez, who completed a move from Barcelona to Atletico Madrid this summer, said.
‘But we have to be aware that we have players who are at a very good level in Europe.
‘I’m sure that they will show the manager that they are ready.’
‘Chile is always a very difficult opponent.
‘Every time a new qualifying tournament begins there are different expectations.
‘I’m seeing some new faces and also a few old ones. There are several players that have already had a lot of international experience.’