Deadline day in the summer of 2014 was a particularly notable one for Manchester United.
The Red Devils completed a last-gap loan swoop for AS Monaco striker Radamel Falcao, the Colombian who had only joined the French side for a whopping £50m a year earlier.
The move meant that Louis van Gaal had the likes of Falcao, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie to call upon as some of his options up front – not bad on the face of it.
But the alarm bells should surely have been ringing for Ed Woodward and co when the forward was made available on a loan deal just days before the end of the deadline. Why on earth would Monaco do that without really having the time to sign a replacement?
The biggest reason perhaps was the anterior cruciate ligament damage he suffered in January 2014, which consequently ruled him out of that summer’s World Cup. That kind of injury can often have such a devastating impact on a top-level player, and there were suggestions that Falcao had tried desperately to rush himself back to fitness in order to play a part for Colombia on the world stage.
That certainly could not have done him any favours in respect to his long-term career. So Woodward ultimately took a major gamble on a striker who he thought could fire them to success, but instead it proved to be a complete disaster.
With Monaco seemingly not paying anything in terms of Falcao’s wages for the season-long loan, the total sum that it cost United for the Colombian to play for the Red Devils was estimated at an eye-watering £15.8m.
All that for just 29 games, four goals and five assists. It no doubt left Woodward red-faced seeing his ‘Galactico’-like signing flop to such an extent. The only saving grace was that United unsurprisingly didn’t make his move permanent.