“Manchester United have been assured that Radamel Falcao will return to his deadliest form.” Manchester Evening News
I have read a lot of pro Radamel Falcao stories in the press this past week, which is extraordinary when you analyse his performance against Chelsea. But the truth is short, Falcao has endured a miserable season at Old Trafford by anyone’s standards, scoring just 4 goals in 25 appearances.
After signing Falcao on a loan deal in the summer, I was excited to see what the striker could produce at Manchester United. He was player with an amazing reputation and a phenomenal goals per game ratio. But as we draw to the end of the Barclays’ Premier League season, I find it hard to compare the Falcao who tore Chelsea’s defence apart in the 2012 UEFA Super Cup to the slow and lethargic, lack lustre performance from the Colombian which handed Chelsea victory last weekend. I’m not saying Falcao is completely to blame, United’s defence should have done better and De Gea ‘arguably’ should have saved Eden Hazard’s shot at his near post. But it was evident to me that had Falcao been more disciplined in his performance, as Wayne Rooney was against Manchester City, United may well have left West London with at least a point for their efforts.
It’s entirely plausible that the former Athletico Madrid striker could leave United in the summer regardless of whether he is offered a permanent move. But on current form it would be surprising if United did want to keep him. If reports are to be believed Monaco are still holding out hope of striking a deal with United, even if they have to reduce their £43m asking price, but then there’s the issue of wages and on this season’s performances alone Falcao is hardly worthy of such an astronomical income. There have been reports of interest from other clubs with Liverpool and Chelsea in the frame. Any reinvigoration of form at these clubs could potentially damage United’s ambitions over the next few seasons. But whether there is any truth in these reports is debatable.
The question on every United’s fans mind is can Falcao ever rediscover the form that once earned him the reputation as one of the finest finishers in world football? The Colombian has shown glimpses of the traits that made him such a predator in days gone by, but no consistent signs of recovery. After all, recuperating from cruciate ligament damage is not a simple case of returning from an operation and back, some players never fully recover and unfortunately for United fans Falcao could be one of the unlucky ones.
One things for sure, a complete pre-season will be essential to Falcao’s rehabilitation and fitness. The real test will be whether he can restore his confidence over the summer in the Copa America and hit the ground running next year, wherever he may be.
Have we seem the last of the El Tigre at Manchester United?
Quite possibly yes. But have we seen the last of a prolific Falcao? That’s the risk United must take if they decide to let him go.