He’s been struggling with injury for most of the season but Radamel Falcao was quick to offer a reminder of why he is one of the best forwards in the world against Aston Villa on Saturday.
The Colombian, who missed all of his country’s World Cup campaign due to a serious knee injury, rose well to cushion an excellent header away from Brad Guzan, who could do little to stop the ball from hitting the back of the net.
It has been a long time coming for Falcao, who has struggled with injuries and gaining match fitness in order to break into United’s starting XI. When the Colombian has appeared for Louis van Gaal’s side, he has looked a threat. He has two Premier League goals already this season which is a good achievement considering he has hardly featured so far. The forward has appeared nine times this term but has only started four games. He has two assists to his name as well, meaning that he has made a credible impact considering the amount of time he has spent trying to gain match fitness.
The player himself has recently declared his desire to stay at Manchester United but appreciates the fact that he has to prove his fitness: “I’d like to carry on but I have to analyse the situation, see if I play more and see what decision the board takes.”
Falcao clearly wants to prove himself at Old Trafford. However, a figure of around £40million to pay in the summer for a permanent move may be too steep a fee for United to pay, despite their Galactico-style transfer revolution. Alongside the fee is the player’s excessive wages. Some papers have claimed that the striker is earning around £350,000 a week with others stating he is earning somewhere within the £200-250,000 wage bracket. However much the real figure is, it will cost Manchester United a heap of money to keep him at the club. Although this may be the case, the Red Devils do have the funds available but you’d like to think the board will have more sense (admittedly, this is rarely a guarantee in football.)
On the other hand, if Falcao replicates the goalscoring form he produced while at Atletico Madrid and Porto, Manchester United will be more than willing to pay the £40m to acquire his services. At the height of his powers, Falcao was considered one of, if not the best number nine in the world. His game is also ideally suited to the Premier League. As well as being an excellent poacher in the box, he is a huge threat in the air and can shoot with both feet. His all-round ability will never be in doubt but his fitness record may be the one hindrance that prevents fans of both United and the Premier League from seeing one of the greatest strikers of the modern game in action.
Hopefully Falcao can put together a run in the Premier League that will allow him time to prove himself. The striker, known as ‘The Tiger’, is yet to show the Premier League exactly what he can do. Falcao once scored five goals for Atletico Madrid in a La Liga fixture against Deportivo La Coruna. What was even more impressive was the fact that he only managed five attempts at goal that game which shows just how lethal he can be.
Old Trafford hero Cristiano Ronaldo hailed the Colombian’s arrival at Manchester United as ‘a fantastic buy’ and many United fans will still be hoping that come the end of the season, the Portuguese magician will be proved right.