Edinson Cavani’s short impact at Manchester United looks set to stay just that come the end of the season.
The striker was brought in on transfer deadline day and, after taking some time to get match fit, has done well at the club.
Cavani has scored seven goals in 25 appearances, setting up a further two, as well bringing a maturity and sharpness to the United front line. His movement especially being the noticeable impact.
But his father has now come out and claimed Cavani is unhappy at the club and will almost certainly leave in the summer.
Luis Cavani told TyC Sports: “My son does not feel comfortable in England and wants to be close to the family again.
“Edinson is going to end up playing in South America. I want Edinson to play in a team that fights for something important.
“Edinson had many conversations with [Boca vice-president Juan Roman] Riquelme and he would like to play for Boca. He was always seduced by the idea of playing in Boca.
“If he returns to South America he is leaning towards Boca.”
United did have the option to tie Cavani down for an added year but any such plans have now been scuppered.
Mirror Sport takes a look at five issues Cavani’s summer exit will cause.
The central striker issue
Cavani gave United something they didn’t realise they needed in a central striker.
Martial played the role last season, scoring a career best 23 goals. The Frenchman, though, has been off the boil this season and Cavani’s impact was much needed.
But should he go where does that leave United? Do they put the pressure back on Martial? Marcus Rashford is better cutting in from the left and Mason Greenwood is probably too young to make the position his own yet.
A still cursed No.7?
Finally, a player who took on the United No.7 shirt and seemed to be delivering.
But Cavani’s exit after just a year will do little to restore faith in the jersey.
Gone are the days of Best, Cantona, Ronaldo. These are the times of Depay, Di Maria, Cavani.
“Cavani, you have to say, it’s about getting him up to speed, getting him match-fit, and he looks a real threat,” said Gary Neville back in December.
“Greenwood, Martial, Rashford and James – they all look like they need someone who can mentor them, who can show them the way and if he can do that for United this season by playing well himself and also guiding the players, then he’ll be a great signing.”
Neville’s point was generally echoed and it was widely thought that Cavani could help bring the best out of Greenwood, Rashford and Martial.
But if he leaves this summer will he have had that much of a chance? And what kind of example has he, as a mentor, set?
United now know they need an out and out striker to lead their line. Cavani has shown them that. But where do they turn to?
Ed Woodward would unlikely be willing to pay Erling Haaland’s astronomical transfer fee and Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez wouldn’t come cheap.
Do United go back in for Jadon Sancho and hope a solution to their right-wing problem helps offload the problems elsewhere?
Solskjaer will lose his wish
While it’s only been seven goals thus far, Cavani added an element to United’s front-line Solskjaer has been craving.
Since arriving the United boss has been begging Rashford and Martial to score ugly goals, tap-ins and the rest. The type of goals Ruud van Nistelrooy forged a career on.
Cavani brought that with him. He took those scrappy chances and capitalised on those awkward moments.
Solskjaer may find himself back to square one should he lose his rugged finisher.