Radamel Falcao’s superb hatrick for Athletico Madrid in their Super Cup drubbing of Chelsea last month confirmed to the world of football that he is one of those player’s who really does fit the reputation that has been placed upon him.
It also may have gone some way to persuading Chelsea to dig deep into their pockets in an effort to bring him to Stamford Bridge. So often players are instantly labelled as “the next big thing” but flatter to deceive, as they struggle under the pressure of living up to such a name tag. Not in Falcao’s case.
Having spent the early part of his career scoring for fun in the Brazilian leagues for River Plate, there was the inevitable question of whether he could continue that form in the more challenging European leagues. The answer was an emphatic yes, as for first FC Porto and latterly Athletico Madrid he has continued to find the net at an astonishing rate. Scoring over 100 goals over just a three year period since his arrival to Europe indicates why Falcao is so highly sought after.
There is little surprise that Chelsea are at the forefront of the chase to take Falcao away from Madrid. With the departures of both Drogba and Anelka last summer, a hole has been left in Chelsea’s front line that hasn’t been filled. Torres continues to struggle for consistent form and Chelsea have been heavily reliant on their midfield for goals this season.
With the likes of Hazard, Oscar and Mata offering plenty of creativity from the midfield, they now need a true goal scorer to add the finishing touches and Falcao is certainly that man. Whether he could form a partnership with Fernando Torres is another debate entirely.
It is understandable that Chelsea may be hesitant in splashing the reported £45 million on a striker, after what has gone on before. Fernando Torres arrived in the form of his life, but is still struggling to adjust to life at Stamford Bridge some 18 months later, and he has not come close to justifying the £50 million transfer fee. Despite the impressive form Falcao is showing, there may just be a little niggling doubt that once again it could backfire. But I think the chances of this are slim, and Falcao represents an opportunity too good to pass up, despite the price.
With the interest in Falcao set to intensify the nearer we get to the January transfer window, Chelsea would be wise to get any deal sorted as quickly as possible before the price tag inflates larger. A source close to Chelsea said, “The owner wants everything in place now so a deal can be done before any other club can make a counter-offer.”
With Chelsea now Champions of Europe, their appeal factor has grown significantly and players like Falcao are now on their radar. Chelsea may have spent over £60 million this summer, but if Falcao is to join he will surely prove to be the best signing of all, and it would be great to see him week in week out in the Premier League. My advice to Abramovich is to get that cheque book out once more.