Head-to-head: Man United’s top two Van Persie replacements assessed

first_imgThe last time Manchester United won the league, Robin van Persie fired in 26 goals for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team.Now the Dutchman has left for Fenerbahce and as the Red Devils go in search of a 21st English title, a new striker is needed to help achieve this goal.Captain Wayne Rooney will be a certain starter but has not scored 20 goals in a Premier League season since the 2011/12 season.Rooney and van Persie, who scored 12 and 10 goals respectively, were the only two United players to hit double figures last season.With van Persie and Falcao leaving, and Javier Hernandez also expected to depart, Louis van Gaal is left with only Rooney and youngster James Wilson to choose from.Two names have been rumoured as solutions to the goalscoring problem – Edinson Cavani, who could be part of a swap deal with Angel Di Maria, and Christian Benteke. talkSPORT puts the pair head-to-head below …What do they offer?Cavani’s name carries a lot of star quality. He made his name in Italy for Napoli where he scored a goal every 123 minutes over three years at the club. This led to a £45m move to French giants Paris Saint-Germain in 2013, the sixth most expensive footballer ever at the time.The Uruguayan is quick, strong and has an eye for goal – all the attributes you would think a player would need if they are to survive the physicality of Premier League football. He is more versatile than his Aston Villa counterpart too, as he can play as a central striker or coming in from the left.Benteke, on the hand, is a whole different level of physicality. One of the best attacking headers of the ball in the league, the Belgian is a handful for most defences. He is also deceptively quick.The 6ft 3in striker signed for Villa on deadline day 2012 for £7m but his value is now quadruple that after scoring 42 goals in 88 games for the midlands club.How likely is a deal?The future of Cavani hangs exclusively on whether United allow Di Maria to move to PSG. Van Gaal admitted on Wednesday that he was unclear on whether the Argentina international would stay at the club this summer.The French media say a deal for Di Maria could be done within days and despite PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi insisting he does not want Cavani to leave, United could push for a player-plus-cash deal.It is a more straightforward situation with Benteke. If United bid £32.5m – the forward’s release clause – then they could get their man, but they will have to move quick because Liverpool have already offered the full asking price.There are additional stumbling blocks, with the 24-year-old thought to favour a move to rivals Liverpool (more likely to make the first team?). The second problem is whether he is actually worth such a large sum of money.Even without selling Di Maria, United have to financial clout to secure either, but neither PSG nor Aston Villa will budge on the valuations of their players.On the face of things, Cavani is the more likely deal as there is more room to negotiate with the Parisians because they also want something from United. Video EvidenceWho would be the better option?Van Gaal insists that his players follow a certain philosophy and work for the team rather than themselves, and Cavani certainly fits that mould.He plays second fiddle to Ibrahimovic and Luis Suarez for club and country respectfully and is forced to do more of the legwork, something Van Gaal looks for in his signings.However, as we have seen with the likes of Falcao and Di Maria, some players don’t settle well in the Premier League and it may take time for Cavani to get to his best – is it a gamble Van Gaal is willing to take?In comparison, Benteke is a tried and tested Premier League goalscorer who would keep any defence on their toes.But is he worth £32.5m? Liverpool seem to think so, but that is no great endorsement considering some of their bad buys in recent years. He has also never had any Champions League experience, something United are keen on as they look to re-establish themselves among Europe’s elite.Benteke does not really offer the Red Devils anything new because with Marouane Fellaini, they already have a highly physical player with good aerial ability.They do not, in contrast, have a player like Cavani. Manchester United transfer targets Christian Benteke and Edinson Cavani 1last_img

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