Radamel Falcao is not improving, not adapting, and looks lost at Old Trafford…
It must have been a sad day at Manchester United when they realised that Marouane Fellaini was a better striking option than Radamel Falcao – a forward who they pay a ridiculous £265,000-a-week to not score goals.
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Manchester United transfer news
It’s hard not to feel sorry for the Colombian, who over the last decade had established himself as one of the world’s deadliest strikers. Now however, he’s not far off being a complete laughing stock, as United fans look with mix of fear and dread at the proposed £43.5m transfer fee.
Unfortunately, they have little option but to stick by him until at least the end of the season, as they can hardly justify not playing him after stumping up a £6m loan fee on top of his monstrous wages. United have to stand by their mistake, arguably one of the biggest transfer mistakes in their long history.
This is a player that was in the pocket of the Preston defenders on Monday, a player that barely even registered as a threat to a League One side, a player who was hauled off after an hour, and a player whose departure almost immediately paid dividends to a side that looked ten times better without him.
Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown – who battled the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy when he faced United a decade ago – perhaps best summed up the Red Devils’ latest forward purchase.
During BBC commentary of the FA Cup fifth round tie he said: “Another night of nothing from Falcao. You wonder if you will see him again in a Manchester United shirt. I don’t think he has offered much at all.”
Falcao has scored four goals in 19 games since his summer arrival from AS Monaco, averaging a goal just under every five hours. Compare this to his spells at Porto and Atletico Madrid – where he netted 93 league goals in 119 games – and you can see how far he has fallen.
United have a wealth of attacking options, and while Falcao will likely continue to feature in some capacity – again, how can he not considering the money involved – he will almost certainly go underused in the coming weeks.
As BBC Sport reasons, “Van Persie has greater guile in the area; Wayne Rooney is a better passer and harder worker outside it.” Add in the fact that youngster James Wilson has more pace and Fellaini is better in the air as an emergency target man, and it’s hard to see where Falcao fits in at all.
Having struggled to overcome a serious knee injury which kept him out of the World Cup, the 29-year-old has arguably not enjoyed a successful season since the 2012-13 campaign – the last time he struck double figures in league goals.
It’s hard to see another ‘big club’ taking a chance on him beyond this season, despite his agent Jorge Mendes’ assertion that Falcao “will play in one of the very best clubs in the world next season whether that is United or not”.
Falcao’s decline is both surprising and frustrating for all fans of English football, not just United supporters. We were all excited to see one of the world’s best show us what he could do. Sadly, United can deal without him, and he won’t live long in any of our memories.