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Edinson Cavani has proven he has an important role to play despite giving up shirt and starting position to Cristiano Ronaldo

EDINSON CAVANI gave up more than just his number 7 shirt when Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Manchester United in August.

Turns out he also waved goodbye to the chance to play regularly during his second and final season at Old Trafford.

Edinson Cavani has shown to Aston Villa that he still has a role to play for Man Utd

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Edinson Cavani has shown to Aston Villa that he still has a role to play for Man UtdCredit: Getty

With Ronaldo out have hip muscle problems, veteran Uruguayan, 34 years old, has made a start for only the fifth time this season.

Ralf Rangnick was delighted when Cavani told him he would rather watch the season at United than look for a move this month.

And there’s enough to show he can still play a big role over the next four months – if he’s given the chance.

This is similar to what the former Napoli striker signed up for last summer.

He is leading while also bringing a few younger players like Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood alongside him the benefit of his experience.

No one can say the decision to bring Ronaldo back was a mistake – 14 goals in 21 appearances so far have told their own story.

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After all, where would United be without them?

But the question is when he approaches the age of 37order With his birthday early next month, will he need to feature in every game – when United have quality options like Cavani in reserve.

The Stretford End stretches a banner showing the faces of club legends Roy Keane, Eric Cantona and Bryan Robson – with the word ‘Standard’.

There’s no doubt they’ve dropped at this club since those days, but Cavani is in very good form – they’ve always been in his days at Napoli and Paris Saint Germain.

And that was evident in his first season at United when he proved the critics wrong by scoring a total of 17 times.

Former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer raved about his professionalism off the pitch and how he is a great role model for young players.

That is part of the reason that convinced him to postpone his return to South America and sign a contract for another 12 months at Old Trafford.

However, Ronaldo’s injuries and form mean that opportunities are severely limited. However, when both he and the Portuguese started the match against Burnley after Christmas and the team scored three goals.

No Ronaldo, although he was given a chance down the middle and he saw a header go too high after Marcus Rashford picked him up with a cross.

He was then hurled into the field by captain Bruno Fernandes but from a tight angle and Tyrone Mings touched it before Emi Martinez saved it.

The opening of the second half was a phase of settling the home team’s defenders, but Cavani played his role.

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He also played a key role in the equalizer as Danny Ings was disqualified when a VAR check showed the Uruguayan had been fouled by Jacob Ramsey on a set-up.

Cavani was substituted 18 minutes into the match as Rangnick tried to block Villa’s attacks – but he was given a standing ovation when he came on.

United fans want to see more of him and the caretaker manager needs to find a way to make that happen.

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/premier-league/4435759/man-utd-ronaldo-cavani-verdict/ Edinson Cavani has proven he has an important role to play despite giving up shirt and starting position to Cristiano Ronaldo

Huynh Nguyen

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