Former Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani makes Valencia debut

Former Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani made his debut for Valencia in last night’s 3-0 La Liga win over Celta Vigo.

After his contract was released by the Red Devils at the end of June, the Uruguayan legend took his time finding a new club.

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Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Having already played in Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Premier League, the 35-year-old was keen to play in another of Europe’s top five leagues – La Liga.

El Matador signed for Valencia late last month but, having not played a competitive game since June, United’s former number 21 needed to improve his fitness ahead of his Los Ches debut.

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Edinson Cavani makes Valencia debut

Cavani started against Celta Vigo and played 71 minutes before being substituted by manager Gennaro Gattuso.

According to SofaScore, Valencia’s new number seven had 16 touches but no shot on target.

However, after the game, speaking to Marca, Gattuso revealed that Cavani didn’t want to start the game due to his lack of fitness.

Gattuso originally claimed that the former United, Paris Saint Germain and Napoli goalscorer “didn’t want to play”, but he later explained the situation better.

Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

Gattuso said: “He wanted to play 30 or 35 minutes but there are players who have conditions to be there from the start. It was three months without training with a team and it was important to have the previous work and also the competition.

“If a 35-year-old player thinks that football is his priority, he always helps the teammate, he makes a career of coaching more than the rest.

“He needs to improve his physical condition as usual, I’m happy he’s staying here with us these weeks of break.

“He worked very well with us for 10 days and I think to be at his best he needs to play, play and play. He wasn’t entirely convinced to start because of the physical risk, but I’m very satisfied.”

Unlike Manchester United’s Facundo Pellistri, Cavani has not been called up for this month’s friendlies by Uruguay manager Diego Alonso.

Cavani will instead stay with the Mestalla side and improve his fitness. With this winter’s World Cup likely to be Cavani’s last, the South American will aim to arrive in Qatar to ensure he is in the best physical condition possible.

Passionate football fan who completed an NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.

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