After an incredibly unconvincing five and a half months at Manchester United, Radamel Falcao has shown he is not the marquee signing manager Louis van Gaal thought he would be and come May is set to be shown the door.
Falcao joined United back in September 2014 on a loan deal from ‘more money than trophies’ French side AS Monaco. At an estimated £12 million for a season long loan with the option to make the move permanent for another £43.5 million the player had a lot to live up to.
Unfortunately after making just 16 league appearances, the Columbian international has scored a paltry four goals and is certainly not one of the first names to go onto LVG’s team sheet.
At 29 years old Falcao has had a memorable career playing for AS Monaco, Atletico Madrid and Porto but in recent months his talent had been overshadowed by a dip in form perhaps due to a knee injury that side-lined him for six months ruling him out of the 2014 World Cup.
Prior to the injury, the forward had scored 11 times from 20 appearances for the Ligue 1 club but following the setback his sharpness and threat in front of goal has substantially declined.
Falcao’s most prolific era was his time at Atletico Madrid where he won the Europa League in 2012 and absolutely took Chelsea to pieces during the Super Cup. During the three seasons he spent in the Spanish capital he managed 52 goals from 68 appearances and cemented his place as one of the world’s best striking talents.
It truly is unfortunate when a player of Falcao’s quality is hampered by injury but with so much money spent on bringing him to the club and much more expected to be paid should he stay, Falcao needs to make a far bigger impact when it comes to United’s top four ambitions too justify this.
With the Red Devils heavily criticised this season for a shaky defence and too much fire power going forward surely even if Falcao does leave at the end of the season there will be no real need to replace him. Established players like Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney can rack up the goals – with James Wilson waiting in the wings – while the likes of Angel Di Maria and a number of others are also able to find the back of the net.
A team with less striking talent may be tempted to hang onto him, if the price was right, as the player does work hard, is willing to track back and can maintain possession when he is not finding himself space in the box.
So what next for Falcao? If from now until the end of the season he is unable to start producing then he will return to Monaco with a slightly dented ego and perhaps worth attached to him. Falcao really needs to turn things around before his once enviable reputation becomes permanently damaged.
Manchester United fans. Has Falcao done enough to earn a permanent deal? Do you think he can impress before May? Let us know your thoughts below, become a guest blogger or tweet us @LaFootyettes.