Given the amount of money that Manchester United have shelled out in wages and on a loan fee to bring Radamel Falcao to English football, it is fair to say that the Colombian striker has failed to deliver at Old Trafford.
The 29-year-old has a considerable reputation within the game after lethal spells in front of goal for Porto and Atletico Madrid, but he has had injury concerns that have blighted his career over the last 12 months.
With United fans not seeing the best of the South American, Falcao turning 29 last month and only scoring four Premier League goals to date, Louis van Gaal would be best advised to draw a line under the failed experiment and look to add a youthful alternative in the summer.
With Robin van Persie no spring chicken and Wayne Rooney frequently being deployed in midfield, there is certainly an opening for a young, vibrant striker at Old Trafford. Here are five excellent options…
A product of Barcelona’s fabled La Masia youth system, Icardi has been making his name in Italy over the last number of seasons after the brave decision to leave the Catalan club in search of regular football.
The Argentine forward showed his predatory class at Sampdoria before moving to Inter and now leads the Serie A scoring charts this season with 14 strikes, acting as a rare positive in a dire season for the Milan-based club.
Having just turned 22 and with a consistent goal record in recent seasons, Icardi is destined for greatness. With Inter not the force they once were, a considerable bid from United would surely all but guarantee his capture.
French football’s rising star, Lyon striker Lacazette has been on the collective radar for a number of years but has turned substantial promise into consistent goals this term.
The 23-year-old leads Ligue 1’s scoring charts with 21 strikes from 24 games, firing the Stade de Gerland club to the table’s summit ahead of moneymen Paris Saint-Germain.
With Lacazette now becoming a regular feature for the French national side also, the pace, penetration and movement off the ball he would bring to United would freshen up a one-dimensional attack.
Dubbed by Palermo’s president Maurizio Zamparini as the ‘new Sergio Aguero’, Dybala has some striking comparisons with his illustrious countryman and is starting to live up to his considerable reputation.
The Argentine forward has lit up Italian football this season with shows of skill, exceptional technique and most importantly goals, with the star seemingly destined for a summer move away from the modest Sicilian club.
Despite competition for his signature from some of Europe’s leading clubs, United have already been linked with Dybala; bringing him to Manchester would boost the side’s link-up play between midfield and attack, while offering something of a wildcard in the final third.
Perhaps the most untested of the five players, Vietto has displayed a predatory nature for Villarreal this season since a summer move from Racing Club in his native Argentina.
Despite only starting 13 La Liga games this season for the El Madrigal outfit, the 21-year-old has netted 11 goals and won the division’s Player of the Month accolade back in January.
A poacher with a turn of pace and excellent movement off the ball, Vietto looks like he has all the attributes to be the next Argentine world-class centre forward and United moving quickly to capture him would be a shrewd acquisition.
Despite the fact that Russian players have not covered themselves in glory in the Premier League in recent years, Kokorin is the eastern European nation’s golden boy and the brightest talent in a transitional national team.
At 23-years-old, the Dinamo Moscow striker has already featured in first-team football for seven years and has displayed a consistent goalscoring record.
With experience of Euro 2012 and the summer’s World Cup, Kokorin is destined to be the next Russian export and is set for a major European side.
An international quality centre forward with the world at his feet, Kokorin has all the virtues that United are currently missing in attack in his locker – energy, a physical presence and the ability to do something extraordinary.