Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has joked that Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani has already learnt two very important English words.
Cavani was a half-time sub at Southampton on Sunday and laid on Bruno Fernandes’ goal before heading in twice to hand United a famous 3-2 win.
It was the 33-year-old’s fifth sub appearance in the Premier League as he gets up to speed with the game in England. He got into hot water afterwards with a social media post in which he used the phrase “gracias n******”.
He later apologised, but the former PSG star though is adapting well to the pace of the top flight, even if he was asking about a day off after the win on the south coast.
Solskjaer said: “He has already learned two English words – tomorrow, off. He wants a day off after a win.
“When we win a game he already knows that one!”
The Norwegian coach has in the past labelled Cavani a “viking” and asked about his new centre forward, he said: “We never give in, us vikings. It was a little bit unfair to Edinson, but it was a compliment because I always look at players’ ability to play even if you don’t have a perfect day.”
Solskjaer has admitted that Cavani’s role as a team player was what he had noted in the experienced forward. Three goals from five sub appearances is a fine return so far, but Solskjaer says his work-rate is the best around.
“We know he’s got talent and I could have spoken about his predatory instincts as a striker but what I noticed what his ability to be a team player, which we’ve already seen here with his work rate.
“His running stats show him top of the Premier League, which at 33 tells you everything,” added Solskjaer.
Ole gunning for top spot
Solskjaer said “everyone’s held their hand up and is available for selection” against PSG, with David De Gea fit despite going off with a knock at half-time against Southampton.
United only need a point from their remaining two Group H matches to secure progress to the knockout phase but the Norwegian wants more.
“The quicker you can qualify the better, of course,” Solskajer said. “With a win, we’ll win the group so that’s our intent.
“We want to go out there in our style, attacking intent, defending well against a top team with some top individual players, of course.
“But our mindset is win this game and we’ve won the group.”
The United boss was also asked about a potential Cavani v Anthony Martial battle for a place in attack.
But ahead of Wednesday’s home clash with PSG in the Champions League, Solskjaer said: “I think there’s only one position here that we can only say is between Dean and David. The rest have got ability to play in different positions.
“Anthony, Marcus, Mason, Edinson even… they can play in any positions in the front four. There is tactical reasons about whether it’s Anthony, Marcus, Mason or Edinson down the middle. Sometimes it’s two of them.”
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