Manchester United completed the most unexpected piece of business on transfer deadline day, bringing in Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan from AS Monaco.
The Colombia international arrived for a reported loan fee of £6million, and becomes United’s sixth signing of the summer.
While many fans will question the lack of strengthening in both defence and midfield, there is no question Louis van Gaal now has one of the most exciting forward lines in European football. The only question is: Will that be enough to fire them back into the top four?
In the latest in our series on the numbers behind a player’s career to date, we take a closer look at United’s new star forward.
11 – The number of club honours Falcao has won in his career to date. The front-man has won two Europa Leagues, two Portuguese league titles, two Portuguese Cups, two Portuguese Super Cups, one UEFA Super Cup, one Spanish Cup and one Argentinian league title. Both he and United will be hoping he soon adds to that tally.
292 – The number of club appearances the new United striker has made so far. He featured 93 times for River Plate, 90 times for Atletico Madrid, 87 times for FC Porto and 22 times for AS Monaco.
191 – The number of goals Falcao has scored in that time. In what is an absolutely outstanding goal-scoring record, the 28-year-old has scored 36 times for River Plate, 70 times for Atletico, 72 times for Porto and on 13 occasions for Monaco.
34 – The number of assists in his club career. While very much a goal-scorer the new United player also has an eye for an assist, although do not expect one if he has any chance of scoring himself.
1 – The number of times Falcao has been sent off in his club career. His disciplinary record is impressive, with only 43 yellow cards accrued in that time.
50 – The number of times he has been capped by his country. Falcao has scored 20 goals for Colombia; he also scored two goals in just three appearances for their under-20 side.
Verdict – There is absolutely no question United have signed a world-class finisher for a cut-price (initial) fee. If he can replicate his previous form he could net a hatful for Louis van Gaal’s side, and there are now serious questions as to which of United’s strikers will spend more time on the bench in the months ahead – unless the Dutchman can somehow accommodate them all.
A superb piece of business, but with United failing to sign a quality centre-back questions remain as to just how far they can go this season.
All stats courtesy of transfermarkt.com