Manchester United took a punt on Radamel Falcao, dishing out a ridiculous sum of money in the hope that the Colombian striker could rediscover the great form of time gone by.
He had played just three games for Monaco since sustaining cruciate ligament damage in January 2014, coming on as a second half substitute twice and was subbed off after 69 minutes in the game he started.
When looking at Falcao’s record though, his goals had begun to dry up before this serious injury though, with September 2013 the last time he was scoring regularly, a whole year before United signed him.
Falcao played 25 minutes in his first game for United, but then started the following week, playing in 72 minutes, then started the next game playing 65 minutes, then starting and playing 72 minutes the week later.
The Colombian played 29 times in total for United, starting 17 of them, scoring four goals. The problem was, he wasn’t very good.
This season, Anthony Martial scored four goals in his first four games, scoring as a substitute in two of them. Marcus Rashford scored four goals in his first two games.
Regardless, Falcao has blamed his disastrous season on Louis van Gaal, and not on the fact he just isn’t a very good player anymore.
It was complicated in Manchester. Everyone saw how there were situations which created instability, since I played on some days, not on others. It was 60 minutes today, then 45, then 20 – that generates instability and sometimes you don’t know where you stand or what the footballing preferences of the coach are.
It’s been difficult. I had been used to playing regularly. After the knee surgery [at Monaco] I went to Manchester United, who were starting a new process after 25 years with the same coach, with a lot of new players and I did not have the opportunity I expected.
Out of interest, Falcao has scored one goal in 11 appearances for Chelsea this season, in their 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge. He hasn’t featured for his new team since the end of October, when he came on as a sub in Chelsea’s home defeat against Liverpool.