Reported United target's World Cup displays suggest he's better than their current options

Reported Manchester United Edinson Cavani was better at the World Cup than Louis van Gaal's current front-line and here are the stats to prove it.

Manchester United have shown their financial clout already this summer, but their lavish spending does not seem to be showing any signs of stopping with new manager Louis van Gaal determined to add quality to his side ahead of the upcoming season.

Van Gaal has been tasked with ensuring that a repeat of last campaign – where United slumped to a seventh-place finish – never occurs again and return them to the Champions League.

Nobody can question United’s determination, either, as they have backed van Gaal with a veritable war-chest in his first transfer-window in charge of the club.

The Red Devils have already spent close to £60million on acquiring Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, while a whole host of other top class talents are reportedly close to signing for the Red Devils.

One of these players is Edinson Cavani and, if the World Cup is anything to go by, he could be a valuable addition at Old Trafford.

The Uruguayan centre-forward outperformed United’s current strike-force – containing the likes of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez – in almost every department during his time in Brazil, as evidenced in the table below.

  TeamPosTotal Scoring Att / appsShot Off Target / appsOntarget Scoring Att / appsBig Chance Missed / appsAccurate Pass / appsTouches / appsDispossessed / appsAppsMins
Edinson Cavani Uruguay FW 3.25 2.00 0.75 0.50 20.00 38.25 2.00 4 360
Robin van Persie Netherlands FW 2.80 0.60 2.00 0.60 12.80 31.40 1.40 5 458
Wayne Rooney England FW 2.67 1.67 1.00 0.67 20.33 36.67 2.00 3 194
Javier Hernández Mexico FW 0.75 0.50 0.25 0.25 3.25 11.25 1.00 4 75
Danny Welbeck England FW 0.50 0.50 0 0 19.50 38.00 2.00 2 132

While it must be noted that Rooney and Welbeck’s stats may be slightly misleading as the pair were not used as outright centre-forwards, it is an intriguing that Cavani was more influential than any of United’s current internationals despite playing second-fiddle to Luis Suarez in two of his nation’s matches in Brazil.

Cavani was more involved in the game than any of United’s current quartet of strikers, while he also had more shots than the foursome and only Rooney, playing in a much deeper role for England, completed more passes.

It highlights that Cavani, who is reportedly unhappy at Paris Saint Germain, would certainly be a player who could add quality to United’s front-line – whether stationed as an out and out centre-forward, or as a right-winger, as he has been in France.

It says a lot, too, that more was expected of the tall striker in Brazil and he was still able to outperform United’s strike-force.

Cavani showed glimpses of his best form – especially in setting up Suarez for his first against England – but was not at the top of his game, which he showed most frequently at Napoli, prior to his move to Ligue 1.

United’s current crop had a miserable time, though. Van Persie's Holland side may have got to the semi-finals, but his performance in his nation’s first-game can be the only one he was proud of, whilst Rooney was off-colour for England and Hernandez had to make do with sub appearances for Mexico.

That shows how badly Chicharito has struggled at United this season, scoring just four times, and it may be his place that Cavani takes at Old Trafford. If he does, on this evidence, it would be a serious upgrade.

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