When Louis van Gaal first presented Radamel Falcao as a Manchester United player at the beginning of the season, most within the footballing community expected the Red Devils to up their game from last year, and produce a successful campaign that saw the club return to their former glories.
Whilst such an achievement is still very much possible for van Gaal this season, Manchester United are just nowhere near as formidable, exciting and as mentally strong as they were under Sir Alex Ferguson.
This summer’s ‘Galacticos’ inspired signings have hardly made the impact many would have expected, with Radamel Falcao taking the lion’s share of complaints among the new faces at Old Trafford this season. Since the Colombian has failed to make any meaningful impact at his new club, does Falcao have a future at United, or is it only a matter of time before he is shipped out?
Although he is only on loan from French outfit AS Monaco, Radamel Falcao’s reported wages and high profile status make him a player who was really meant to do the business for van Gaal. We all know what this former Atletico striker is capable of – he is quick on the turn, proficient at linking up play with the rest of his teammates, and has the ability to rise like a salmon in the air.
The United no. 9 is also famed for his goal-scoring capabilities and dangerous nature in the opposition’s third, both at club level and with the Colombian national side. Only through injury did Falcao miss out on the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where if he were present alongside James Rodriguez, Colombia really could have gone a lot further in the competition.
Goal-scoring is not something that has come easy to the United hit-man this season however. Only three league goals recorded for the Red Devils this campaign is simply not good enough for a player as good as Falcao. Yes – injuries have certainly had their role to play in slowing down the progress of Manchester United’s latest star, but as he is playing alongside the likes of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Angel Di Maria and Juan Mata, Falcao really has failed to live up to initial expectation.
That said, Louis van Gaal would be mad to let the Colombian go this early into his United career. Now that the prized striker has had his adequate settling-in period in the Premier League, 2015 should spark the turning point in which Radamel Falcao really gets going. His form may have completely left him right now, but we all know that class is permanent, and Falcao’s class is simply undeniable even at this stage in his career.
There may be sensational talk of Gareth Bale quitting Madrid to come and play at Old Trafford, but seeing as these stories mostly circulate without any real foundation, United fans will likely have to approach this January transfer window with a degree of caution. They already have world renowned stars within their ranks, and even if they aren’t quite doing the business for van Gaal at the moment, it is simply only a matter of time before the likes of Radamel Falcao find their feet in the Premier League.
Seeing as both Chelsea and Manchester City have made steady progress in securing the league title in the first half of the season however, a period of months in which Manchester United have been anything but steady, perhaps Falcao’s chance to be a hero at Old Trafford may have already passed him by.
If enough faith and trust is placed in the Colombian however, the footballing world will soon forget about Radamel Falcao’s brief dry spell in front of goal.