Manchester United ace Edinson Cavani opted out of starting in Newcastle United game over fitness issues
The Uruguayan international was the hero on Monday night after he came off the bench to score the equalizer against the Toon Army. However, the centre-forward was being considered to start the game at St. James’ Park, which would have been his first outing since returning from injury.
But the 34-year-old was unsure about his fitness and did not feel comfortable with a place in the starting XI. This is not the first time such an incident has taken place. Man United encountered a similar in March when the player declared himself unfit despite being cleared by the medical staff.
He was then named in the travelling squad for the AC Milan tie, only to withdraw a few hours later. There was also a disagreement at the start of the season when the player did not travel for the trip to Southampton as he had reservations about playing the game. Rangnick recently revealed the Newcastle incident from a couple of days ago.
“Actually, in the last two days, I was considering playing him (Cavani) from the start. I spoke with him yesterday and the day before yesterday and he did not feel comfortable playing from the beginning because he did not know how fit he really was.”
Is there a bigger problem behind the scenes?
Cavani is arguably the most professional player at Old Trafford. His commitment, work rate, and desire are unrivalled, and he gives his all with and without the ball. Thus, there can be no doubts about his behaviour once he is on the pitch.
However, off it, there could be some issues. Cavani missed the trip to Saint Mary’s for the second game of the season despite having seven weeks off in the summer following his participation at the Copa America. Moreover, we also needed him to start from the get-go in the Northeast on Monday.
If we had started, we could have been level in the first half itself and could have prodded on to find a winner. At a time when Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford are missing their shooting boots, the veteran needs to step up to the plate.
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He shall be out of contract in the summer, and hopefully, that is not weighing on his mind. There has been no indication from him yet that he desires to leave earlier than expected or that his concerns over his fitness are related to that issue. Nevertheless, fans would be hoping to see him start against the Clarets on Thursday night.