Is Man United forward Radamel Falcao worth forking out for?
Out-of-form frontman Radamel Falcao has spoken of his desire to remain with loan club Manchester United, who are 12/1 to win the Premier League, but Coral writers wonder whether it would be such a smart move for the Red Devils?
Speaking after his recent return from a niggling calf injury, Falcao stated: “I am very happy in this city, in this club and I am enjoying it here. I really want to stay.
“From my point of view, I’d like to carry on but obviously I have to analyse the situation, see if I play more and see what decision the board takes.”
The 28-year-old has failed to impress at Old Trafford since his temporary switch from Ligue 1 outfit Monaco on deadline day, and United face a tricky decision over whether to exercise their option to sign him permanently at the end of the season.
Whilst it may be too early to call Falcao a flop, especially considering his fitness issues, the superstar striker has not made the most of his opportunities when called upon.
Frustrating Falcao has made just eight appearances for United this term, scoring one goal and providing two assists. While his stats aren’t particularly damning considering a lack of starts, the Monaco-owned man was drafted in to be a game-changer.
So far Falcao has seemed far from the prolific poacher he was in Ligue 1 or La Liga and, whilst the ex-Atletico Madrid attacker should be allowed further time to adapt and prove himself over the hectic festive fixture list, there is no room for passengers.
Powerful and usually potent in front of goal, the Colombia international must convince Louis van Gaal he is worth his rumoured £43.5m valuation. The Dutch coach is not one to stand on ceremony, however, and has had no qualms about throwing top teenage prospect James Wilson into the fray ahead of Falcao.
Van Gaal’s decision may well rest on how well talented youngsters such as Wilson and Adnan Januzaj perform for the rest of the season, as any further attacking signings would certainly stunt their progress.
Robin van Persie has also recovered his fitness and fight so, with skipper Wayne Rooney firing on all cylinders as well and club record signing Angel Di Maria due to return from injury, there appears to be little space for Falcao in the starting XI.
If shelling out an eye-watering £43.5m fee, any manager would demand a regular starter, free of fitness concerns in return, but Falco has not yet convinced he can be a leading man for United.
“Every footballer wants to play, no one is happy when they are not playing, when they are on the bench” said Falcao, who had been widely expected to join compatriot James Rodriguez at Real Madrid before his surprising switch to Old Trafford.
Rather than impede starlets Wilson and Januzaj’s progress, Van Gaal could spend the potential Falcao money on the Red Devils’ more urgent needs in January.
A solid, injury-free centre back should be placed high above another forward on the priority list, as should a reliable right back and a dynamic midfielder to partner Michael Carrick or Daley Blind.
If United, 7/2 to finish outside the top four, really want to challenge for a quartet of trophies next term, a pacy winger would not go amiss either as, without fleet-footed Di Maria and Wilson, the club look severely short on speed.
So, as of now, Falcao appears to be a luxury asset rather than a necessity. It is up to the Coffee Growers star to use the second half of the season to prove otherwise, with United’s ability to buy surely depending on a top four finish. The clock starts now.