Hailed as one of the transfer coups of the summer, Manchester United’s move for Radamel Falcao hasn’t exactly gone as many of us expected it to.
The Colombian has previously demonstrated his lethal goalscoring prowess for Porto, Atletico Madrid and Monaco, but he has been a shadow of his former self at Old Trafford, so much so that Louis van Gaal felt that he could leave him out of the 18-man squad for the weekend defeat to Southampton.
With only three goals all season – that’s just one more than perennial easy joke Mario Balotelli – Falcao hasn’t provided the goal threat he was brought in for, and there are now serious question marks over whether or not United should turn his loan move into a permanent switch.
Here are five reasons they should steer clear of him:
According to the Daily Mail, each of Falcao’s three goals this season have cost United £1.77m in wages, a staggering amount when you consider the fact that each of Alexis Sanchez’s strikes for Arsenal have cost the Gunners £210,000.
Reportedly taking home a huge £40,000 a day, Falcao simply hasn’t earned his money at United, and there will be better ways for the club to spend that money in the summer (an entirely new defence would be a start).
Type Falcao’s name into Google and the first suggested search term which comes up is ‘injury.’ That pretty much says it all.
The knee problem which forced him to miss the World Cup last summer was a huge shame – and imagine that Colombia side with him fully fit? – but the fact remains that the injury clearly lingered for longer than was previously anticipated.
It could end up coming back, and that is a risk that United can’t take.
Shelling out £43 million for a 28-year-old? And that’s before you consider the injuries?
Van Gaal has already proven that he doesn’t see Falcao as a necessity as evidenced by the Southampton decision – a match in which he tellingly revealed he was able to choose his 18 players for the first time as United boss because the club’s injuries had cleared up – and so would you really pay that much for a luxury?
Should United return to the Champions League then they will be in a position to compete for the best players on the planet, and so putting the money towards the pursuit of someone like Gareth Bale would surely be a better move.
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He’s Not Convinced Van Gaal
There remains a belief that Falcao wasn’t Van Gaal’s signing, but rather just another star name bolted on to the United squad in the summer following the failings under David Moyes.
The Dutchman has been critical of the forward’s fitness this season, and even after he gave him a run in the team in December he failed to fully convince.
As he showed when rushing Daley Blind straight back into the team against Southampton after a couple of months out, Van Gaal is happy to place his trust in ‘his’ players, but is Falcao really one of those?
He’s Obstructing Young Talents
Some United fans are still upset that their club had to lose Danny Welbeck to Arsenal to make room for Falcao, and if the Colombian were to stay then would the same thing be in danger of happening again?
Young forward James Wilson has been given some chances this season but he would have had more if Falcao wasn’t around, whilst although he plays in a different position the development of Adnan Januzaj appears to have completely stalled in United’s reshuffled formation.
Would getting rid of Falcao and going back to basics give the youngsters more opportunities?