Radamel Falcao surprised many when he linked up with Manchester United in 2014 having already dominated in Portugal, Spain and France.
Rumours of a ruthless Colombian talent spread far and wide when he was playing at Porto; a man who could genuinely find the back of the net in the dark – who was so supremely talented that it hardly seemed fair when he turned up on matchday to dispatch the likes of Naval, Adademica, Belenenses and Leixoes. They had families to return to, after all.
In the two seasons he spent in Portugal he collected a cool 72 goals in 87 appearances, and it was becoming a little too obvious that his talents would be better served in more prestigious competitions.
Atletico Madrid of Spain, a club known for nurturing exceptional forward talents, including the likes of Diego Forlan, Fernando Torres and Sergio Aguero, was the next port of call. The South American would leave Spain a conqueror netting 70 times – with a Copa Del Rey and Europa League title to his name.
Indeed, Radamel Falcao was a bonified goalscoring machine before he joined Manchester United in 2014.
He may have spent a prolonged period of time injured but surely this would not be enough to keep him down. This is one of the most prolific forward talents known to the modern game, even 70 per cent of his former talents would have been enough to fetch at least 20 goals a season.
The excitement was tangible around Old Trafford and for good reason, with Falcao becoming United’s star signing. Post-Ferguson era Manchester had not been kind to the Red Devils; the chosen one had flopped, their squad was full of painfully average Fergie players, and the quality talents that had dominated for so many years were on their last legs.
Any and all good news was magnified ten-fold. New manager? Buzzing. Sold Bebe? Buzzing. Weather’s nice? Buzzing – going to win the league. Signed Radamel Falcao? Limbs.
Unfortunately Falcao struggled to find even 10 per cent of his capacity scoring just four Premier League goals in 26 appearances, and no matter how desperate the club and fans were to make it work, it just did not happen for him.
On the Falco experience, Louis van Gaal has since commented (as per BBC Sport via Manchester Evening News): “I wanted a first-class striker. I don’t want to go through all the names but when you can’t have the first or second choice, you have to be happy with the fourth or fifth, so Falcao came into the picture but we knew in advance he was injured. That is why I said we should take him on loan.”
The forward signed for Chelsea soon after but again failed to make a mark before moving back to France with Monaco where he has been in scintillating form these past few years.
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