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Falcao verdict: Hit or miss?
As the summer transfer window reaches a crescendo of activity, Sky Sports runs the rule over the high-profile movers in the Premier League. Hit or miss? Read our assessment and offer your own verdict here...
Last Updated: 02/09/14 1:39am
To: Manchester United
Fee: Loan (Option to Buy)
Falcao’s first two professional clubs were Lanceros Boyaca and River Plate in his native South America before his goalscoring brilliance was spotted by Porto. An excellent 41 league goals in two years in Portugal then earned a £35million move to Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011 and Falcao picked up where he left off in Spain. The Colombian scored 52 goals in 68 La Liga games for Atletico and that saw his price rocket to £52m when he moved to Monaco last summer. However, the mega-rich French club have hardly had value for money due to a serious knee injury suffered in January which kept him out of the 2014 World Cup and restricted him to just 20 Ligue 1 appearances to date.
Sky Sports pundit Niall Quinn: “I think United have got a good deal. Paying money for loans has become a very important part of the transfer window. I think this could suit Manchester United really well. This will actually kick Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie on a little bit. They will be thinking, ‘OK, we have got to fire even further than we have been’.” That's certainly how Louis van Gaal sees it. "He is one of the most prolific goalscorers in the game. His appearance-to-goal ratio speaks for itself and, when a player of this calibre becomes available, it is an opportunity not to be missed.” said the United boss.
“I am delighted to be joining Manchester United on loan this season. Manchester United is the biggest club in the world and is clearly determined to get back to the top. I am looking forward to working with Louis van Gaal and contributing to the team’s success at this very exciting period in the club’s history.”
Falcao has scored 200 goals in 305 club career games. Stop and think about that for a few seconds. If the hit man can rediscover his form from his days at Porto and Atletico Madrid, Premier League defences are in for an extremely hard time. As Quinn says, this also adds competition for places with Rooney and Van Persie, plus United could have the option for a permanent deal and can move on Javier Hernandez and possibly Danny Welbeck.
A fee which is understood to be in the region of £5-6m for a loan is a lot of money. This will look an even bigger fee if Falcao is not the same mixture of decent pace, intimidating physical presence and vicious goalscoring that he represented before his injury. It will also be interesting to see his level of commitment to United after he was seemingly offered all around Europe by Monaco before his loan to Old Trafford. Van Gaal could also have to earn his money in keeping all of Rooney, Van Persie and Falcao happy.
Falcao’s track record of having consistently scored goals in Portugal and Spain, along with two goals in three appearances since returning to fitness for Monaco, make it almost unthinkable that he will not find the back of the net on a regular basis in England. With the added motivation this will provide for Rooney and Van Persie, United now have one of the most formidable forward lines in Europe. Combined with the numerous big-name, record-breaking signings which had already arrived this summer, it is also a boost for United's previously maligned hierarchy following their failures in recent windows.