Radamel Falcao arrived at Manchester United as a real marquee signing and rightly so. His goalscoring pedigree across Europe suggested that the club had a prolific striker on their hands.
Unfortunately for the Colombian forward, things have not worked out as well as the striker would have hoped. The 29-year-old currently has four goals and three assists in 15 Premier League games. Although this isn’t a terrible return, it is not the sort of figures Manchester United fans would have expected from a world-class striker.
Some have blamed his lack of form on the fact that he may be struggling with injury. The forward is starting to play more regularly but does not look 100% match fit, often lacking the sharpness and agility required. It remains to be seen whether Manchester United will opt to sign the striker on a permanent deal in the summer. However, there are other options out there that Louis van Gaal would do well to consider.
Here are FIVE potential Falcao replacements for the Red Devils to sign in the summer:
United may look to another Colombian striker to replace Falcao. Reports in the Daily Mail suggest that Martinez recently admitted that he will be looking to leave Porto at the end of the season and Manchester United will likely be amongst a host of clubs chasing his signature.
A powerful figure with excellent finishing ability, the 28-year-old would be ideally suited to the Premier League. The forward has 21 goals in 25 games for Porto this season, with five of those goals coming in as many games in the Champions League. The striker won’t be available on the cheap, with the above Daily Mail report suggesting that the player could cost as much as £27.5m. However, due to Manchester United’s supposedly limitless summer transfer budget, it could be money well spent in terms of moving for a proven goalscorer.
At just 21 years of age, Mauro Icardi is one of the most promising young strikers in European football. Blessed with good pace and excellent finishing, the Inter Milan star could become hot property in the summer transfer window. The Daily Express put Icardi’s valuation at £18 million, which could well prove money well spent.
The Argentinian would provide more pace to a Manchester United attack that has been very slow and lacklustre at times this season. With 13 goals in 22 Serie A appearances so far this season, he is certainly not goal shy either. Signing Icardi may not be at the top of every United fan’s wish list but there is no doubt that the young striker would prove a valuable addition to Louis Van Gaal’s squad.
Another young star in European football, Lyon’s Lacazette has been in red-hot form this season, scoring 21 goals in 22 games in Ligue 1. The forward has five assists to his name as well as a very impressive shooting accuracy of 70%. The Frenchman will undoubtedly attract interest from some of Europe’s top clubs this summer no matter what happens between now and the end of this season.
The 23-year-old has been hailed as a massive talent, with Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas recently claiming that Lacazette is better than Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale. The President also stated that the player was priceless, meaning that a huge bid would have to be tabled in order for Manchester United to secure the talented striker. Lacazette is blessed with lightning pace, good movement and excellent finishing. He would provide a much-welcomed boost to the Red Devils’ sluggish attack.
It may be looking increasingly unlikely that one of the greatest players ever will leave his beloved Barcelona. However, if there is a slim chance of acquiring the Argentine, Manchester United must do all they can to bring Lionel Messi to the Premier League. His goalscoring record speaks for itself; he has 23 goals in 22 La Liga games this season as well as providing 12 assists.
Manchester United are one of few clubs that could make a move for Messi and still be in with a chance of complying with Financial Fair Play. Their massive £750 million kit deal with German manufacturers Adidas could further raise funds in order to afford a swoop for the Barca legend as Messi is contracted with Adidas as well. The Telegraph have suggested that it could cost as much as £200 million for the Spanish giants to even consider selling their biggest star but Manchester United have the financial power to conduct such a bid. It may seem unlikely but as we all know, anything can happen in football.
Just when you thought Messi was out of the question, signing Luis Suarez would send shockwaves throughout the Premier League and across Europe. After having such a successful goalscoring spell with Liverpool, Suarez moved to Barcelona where he has failed to continue his electric form. He has only scored three league goals in 13 appearances so far this campaign.
His lack of form could persuade Barcelona to sell the Uruguayan in the summer and a move to Manchester United could be yet another controversial moment in a career that has never been short of drama. The 28-year-old is the complete forward – perfectly suited to the Premier League – and it is understood by The Guardian that Manchester United are amongst a host of English clubs monitoring the striker’s progress in Spain.
It would be one hell of a move if it happened but would the striker really betray Liverpool and join one of their biggest rivals? Well, it’s Luis Suarez, so you wouldn’t want to bet against it.