As Edinson Cavani leaves Manchester United, the Uruguayan centre-forward has outlined his immense gratitude to the club’s fans for the support they have shown him throughout his two-year spell here.
Cavani signed for United in a deadline day transfer in October 2020, and made a notable impact in his debut season. Particular highlights included his two goals and assist as a substitute at Southampton, four goals in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals against AS Roma and a breathtaking lob against Fulham on the day when fans first returned to Old Trafford after lockdown.
This season, a series of injuries have prevented the no.21 - who wore no.7 in his first campaign - from developing any kind of rhythm or making any sustained run of appearances. While that fact is something Cavani rues, the 35-year-old wanted to thank fans for how, even when stadiums were closed, they made clear their support.
“I sincerely have nothing but words of gratitude towards the fans and supporters of Manchester United,” Cavani said, reflecting in an interview with club media.
“Honestly, they have shown me a lot of respect from the very first moment I arrived. I think they’ve greatly recognised all the hard work I’ve always tried to put in in the best way possible, giving my best for this team.
“I really am very grateful, and I’ll be leaving here with a happy memory of that affection they showed me and always displayed.”
While Cavani’s sweet strike over the head of Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola in May 2021 was greeted with an Old Trafford cheer, the vast majority of his goals were in front of empty stadiums.
The fact he could not replicate such great form this season, with the return of fans, is something the Uruguayan regrets.
“I wanted to contribute more this season,” he explained.
“One of the things that has left me with a slightly bitter taste is that when we had a highly enjoyable and pretty decent [2020/21] season, we weren’t able to have the supporters along with us.
“And now, this season, with the fans coming back into the grounds and stadiums, I haven’t really been able to have the kind of campaign, if I’m being honest, on a personal front that I would really have liked. Where I would have been able to score the kind of goals I did last season, and then be celebrating them a bit more with the fans - the kind of stuff that it’s great for a forward or a striker to be doing.
“But I want to sincerely thank the fans from the bottom of my heart, because they have always shown me a lot of affection, and that is very important for a footballer.”
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