In the most dramatic, unexpected and exciting transfer of summer deadline day, Manchester United wrapped up a loan deal for Monaco striker Radamel Falcao yesterday afternoon.
The Colombian international’s quality is well known, being commonly regarded as one of the most potent strikers in world football. And the Red Devils have secured his services until at least next summer after paying a £6million loan fee, with the option of making his temporary switch permanent.
He may not have been the defensive signing many Red Devils were hoping for this summer but Falcao has a lot to offer the Red Devils.
In fact, he has so much to offer them, we at Football FanCast have felt compelled to conjure this list of the FIVE things the 28 year-old will bring to Manchester United.
Of course, the obvious advantage to signing Radamel Falcao is that his goal-scoring credentials are nothing short of ridiculous.
Throughout spells with River Plate, FC Porto, Atletico Madrid and Monaco, the Colombia international has produced a career return of 200 goals in 305 appearances . That includes 18 goals in just 16 outings during the 2010/2011 Europa League tournament – the highest campaign total in the history of the competition.
Falcao has found goals easy to come by in the Argentinean, Portuguese, Spanish and French top flights and in the European second tier. In fact, last season at Monaco was the first campaign since moving to Europe in 2009 in which the 28 year-old hasn’t netted over 30 times.
So without further ado, here’s a look at the South American’s best ever goals:
Radamel Falcao may not be the world-class defensive signing Manchester United fans were desperately hoping for this deadline day but in the words of Neil Lennon, it’s a transfer that truly captures the imagination.
Premier League punters have been witnessing the 28 year-old’s goalscoring exploits from afar for years, but now they’ll get a close-up look of the striker in action.
That may seem like a rather superficial point but it’s exactly the kind of pick-me-up everyone involved with Manchester United needs right now. The club currently finds itself at its lowest low since the 1980s, after succumbing to a 7th place finish last season and picking up just two points in Louis van Gaal’s three opening Premier League fixtures.
Suddenly United are an exciting, modern, entertaining and vibrant proposition once again, having spent the last twelve months looking horrendously outdated whilst playing some incredibly drab football.
Whether you agree that Falcao was the signing the Red Devils needed or not, you’ll undoubtedly feel compelled to see how he gets on in a United jersey.
Louis van Gaal’s decision to introduce a 3-4-1-2 system at Old Trafford has understandably proved to be a controversial one – not least because the Red Devils are yet to win a competitive match with a formation that’s long-been considered alien to the Premier League.
But amid the debate, it’s long been forgotten that the Dutchman is employing the formation out of necessity. Right now, none of his full-backs are fit, Manchester Uniteds squad is completely absent of any top-class wide men and fitting Juan Mata, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney into the same starting line-up is proving to be a difficult conundrum.
But the arrival of Radamel Falcao does give van Gaal vital options. It’s already been alleged that he could revert back to his more favoured 4-3-3 formation, or at least a variation of it, whilst pushing Wayne Rooney deeper into midfield is another alternative worth consideration.
Furthermore, the United boss no longer has to rely upon a select few key players. Falcao’s arrival allows Rooney, Mata and RVP to be rested without compromising the quality of the starting XI. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, with rumours that the Netherlands international needs knee surgery.
Manchester United’s frontline was already rather envious but Radamel Falcao’s arrival brings it to a whole new level.
Indeed, defending could well prove to be the Red Devils’ undoing this season after Louis van Gaal failed to address his side’s desperate need for a top-quality centre-back on deadline day.
But at the other end of the pitch, United look absolutely deadly. Just take a gander at Falcao, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie’s stats for the 2012/13 campaign:
In short, imagine this:
Combined with this…
Louis van Gaal has often commented on the importance of his attacking philosophy and although there may be a drastic imbalance within the United squad, a world-class strike-force fits the LVG mentality perfectly.It could even be argued to be intrinsically more important to the Dutchman’s philosophy than a water-tight defence.
It’s also reminiscent of United in the late 1990s, when their dominance of the English top flight was fuelled by the incredible strike-force of Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
With Manchester United out of the Champions League, they needed to make a statement in the transfer market to assure fans, pundits and rivals alike that they’re still a part of the European elite.
It could be argued that was already achieved with the record-breaking £59million signing of Angel di Maria, and in that regard, the Colombia international’s arrival can be considered a double-whammy.
After all, this is one of the most potent and sought-after strikers in world football we’re talking about, and Manchester United fought off Arsenal, Manchester City and Real Madrid for his signature.
Even without their involvement in Europe’s top competition, Falcao’s temporary services keeps Manchester United on the map.