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How now, Radamel Falcao?

“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.

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By Sophie Flynn

Sophie Flynn is a freelance journalist and blogger from Anglo-Irish roots. Her obsession with United started in 1994 and she's been a regular match goer ever since. Her favourite players include Eric Cantona, Roy Keane and Denis Irwin.

3 replies on “How now, Radamel Falcao?”

Five per cent is sometimes said to be the difference between a very good player and a top class one. The injury which Falcao suffered was so serious that he could conceivably only ever get back to, at the most, ninety five per cent of his previous level, relegating him from top class to very good.

Falcao has failed to convince at Old Trafford and United will not take up their option on him, especially given the current numbers involved, forty three million transfer fee and three hundred grand a week.

Wherever Falcao goes next, his new club will still have the same concerns that United has had. Do they pay a massive price to find out if that five per cent is still there or whether it has gone for good?

So tired of these pathetic articles on how awful Falcao is. It appears that all these writers and journalists have forgotten that Fellaini’s performances last season were just as bad, if not considerably worse than Falcao’s this season. Both suffered from injury, both never had a preseason. Yet now, all those same critics are now kissing Fellaini’s ass and waxing lyrical about how much he adds to the team. Same logic should apply to Falcao. Give him another season with a proper run in the first team and you will see a genuine professional return to his best. No one ever cries when Ronaldo goes on a lean streak. Or Aguero. Or Messi. Yet they are never doubted in terms of their ability.

I have to disagree Ronaldo and Messi are studied all the time, particularly in the media. Ronaldo has a few off games and it’s a dry patch – even if he sets up Chicharito for a goal.

I don’t think you can compare Falcao to the two players you have mentioned because he’s just not at that level at the moment and I wouldn’t expect him to be after cruciate ligament damage.

I agree that yes he needs a pre season and yes he needs to start more games. But in life you need to take your opportunities, Fellaini spent an entire year out of position under Moyes, so I’m not sure it’s comparable, plus Fellaini isn’t on Falcao’s wages.

I agree that Falcao has suffered because LVG has refused to drop players in his favour, but seeing some of his performances of late I can understand why.

I hope we haven’t seem the last of Falcao, because he’s scored some great goals over the years . But neither would I defend him till I’m blue in the face. Stick a Danny Welbeck mask on Falcao and the same people defending him would be saying he was shit and not good enough for United.

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