Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists that Edinson Cavani has only scratched the surface of his talents during his first season at the club.
The Uruguayan striker has made a fantastic impression since signing for United in October as a free agent. He has scored 15 goals and set up five others in 34 appearances, getting better as the season has progressed. Indeed, he netted four goals across both legs of the Europa League semi-final victory over Roma.
He has also scored three times in the past five Premier League games and the previous uncertainty over his future subsequently left fans sweating over whether he would sign an extension.
However, Cavani banished all such worries by penning a new one-year deal at Old Trafford.
As a result, the focus has turned to what he can offer next season. Solskjaer, though, insists that he will get better after largely using this campaign to get back up to speed following his time as a free agent last summer.
“Well, I think we’ve seen the last few months what we can expect and what we’ve wanted from him,” the manager told reporters (via manutd.com).
“Next season, he’ll come ready. He’ll be fit when he comes pre-season.
“This year, he had seven months of no football to catch up and that’s not easy – he’s had a couple of niggles because of that.”
As well as contributing goals himself, Cavani, 34, has proved a vital mentor to the club’s younger forwards. Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford will both have learnt a great deal.
Nevertheless, Cavani still remains as professional as ever, another tick in the box for Solskjaer.
“He comes in every day, he does everything right,” the manager added. “The boys will look at him. He gives us a no.9 position.
“I don’t know how many games we’ll get out of him but, of course, he’s one of the best no.9s in the world at the moment.”
Solskjaer offers Man Utd team hint
Solskjaer was speaking ahead of Thursday’s rearranged Premier League clash with Liverpool.
The Red Devils are playing their third game in five days, with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp labelling the schedule a “crime”.
On Tuesday, Solskjaer made 10 changes with the likes of Donny van de Beek and Nemanja Matic coming in to face Leicester.
He said ahead of Thursday’s match: “There will be changes of course but many of the players that played tonight did really well so they’re in contention as well.
“It’s about managing the squad now and building momentum, building confidence, making sure we get enough points to get second and then going into the [Europa League] final confident.”