Should Manchester United avoid signing Radamel Falcao permanently?

Radamel Falcao

Radamel Falcao's recent injury is another indication why Manchester United shouldn't sign him permanently.

The footballing world was in shock on deadline day, as Manchester United pulled off the season-long loan capture of Monaco striker Radamel Falcao.

Falcao, 28, has earned a reputation as being one of the deadliest strikers in Europe in recent seasons, smashing 72 goals in 87 games for Porto before hitting 70 goals in just 91 games with Atletico Madrid.

His staggering goalscoring exploits led to a shock €60m move to Monaco, yet after 13 goals in 22 games, he suffered a season-ending knee injury, ruling him out of Colombia's World Cup campaign too.

There were as many doubts over his long-term fitness as there were transfer rumours about him this summer, and despite links with Real Madrid, he penned the loan deal with United, replacing Danny Welbeck.

Yet so far, Falcao has played just 251 minutes of Premier League football, failing to arrest lingering doubts over his ability to play without injury.

He hasn't played for a month now, and with reports suggesting that he has to ice his knee after every training session at United, his future is becoming murkier by the day.

With that in mind, United surely can't afford to risk buying him permanently, which would reportedly cost around £44m - money which could be spent on a younger striker.

With Wayne Rooney now 29 and Robin van Persie 31, Falcao - who is almost 29 himself - doesn't appear to have many years left at the top of his game, particularly with his knee problems.

Instead, United need to be focusing their attention on signing a younger striker with pace. The speed of Arjen Robben was vital to manager Louis van Gaal's Netherlands side at the World Cup, and links to Trabzonspor's Abdul Majeed Waris and Atletico Paranaense's Douglas Coutinho, it seems United are looking in that direction.

Aiming slightly higher than Waris and Coutinho may be better for United, but the fitness questions over Falcao are so glaring that surely United can't ignore them - and van Gaal should be putting that £44m to better, more long-lasting use.

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