When Manchester United signed Radamel Falcao on deadline day last summer, it was considered among one of the most unexpected moves of the transfer window. Even though it was just a loan deal, it was a statement by United signalling that they could still attract the best players without being in the Champions League. After all United had more than adequate strikers at the club already before they moved for the Colombian. So after almost 6 months after signing for United, does Falcao deserve a permanent deal as his loan deal comes to an end?
Recovering from an ACL is never easy, and that was one of the most important reasons why United decided to move for Falcao on a yearlong loan deal initially before committing to sign him on a permanent deal. Van Gaal wanted to monitor the player’s progress during his loan spell and then decide whether to sign him at the end of the season. While the fans seem to have an affectionate relationship with the No.9, van Gaal doesn’t seem to be convinced with the effect Falcao has had so far on the pitch.
Falcao, known as ‘El Tigre’ affectionately in his native Colombia on the back of blockbuster years as a striker. He had been the top scorer at all of his clubs in the last 3 seasons and was considered among the best players in the world. But Monaco’s policy of slashing their wage budget made Falcao look for a new club last summer as he recovered from his ACL injury which ruled him out of the World Cup. While some of the biggest clubs rejected him due to his recuperation from injury, United and van Gaal showed faith in him as Falcao got his move during the final hours of the transfer window.
While only on a loan deal, Falcao has already shown the passion and determination that the fans at Old Trafford love to see in every player who puts on the Red shirt. Whenever Falcao plays, he shows this determination and works hard for the team in all aspects despite being an out and out No.9. Off the pitch as well, Falcao has always been positive and warm about United and his experience in Manchester so far. He always makes it a point to say how much he loves being here and how we wants to be a Red Devil for years to come.
But at the end of the day, all strikers earn their money for finding the back of the net and it’s no different with Falcao. And that’s where Falcao has come short so far. He’s scored 4 goals so far this season. That’s less than half of what Robin van Persie, United’s top scorer this season has scored. It’s always difficult for players recovering from a serious injury to get back to their previous performance levels and it’s been no different with Falcao as well.
While injuries and lack of fitness has not helped him, along with van Gaal’s ever-changing tactics, Falcao has struggled whenever he’s been on the pitch this season. He does work hard for the team and gives it his all, but he seems nervous when presented with golden opportunities to score. He seems to be trying too hard to impress the fans and the manager and that’s where he is losing out. If he plays like he does naturally, he does have the natural ability to score goals and that will never go.
With about less than half of the season to go, the Colombian still has games to prove that he still is the same player who tore apart defences a couple of seasons ago. If he manages to go on a scoring run between now and the end of the season, it won’t be difficult for van Gaal to sign Falcao up on a permanent basis and watch him tear apart defences in the league wearing the Red of Manchester for the next few years.