Manchester United fans are eagerly awaiting the site of Radamel Falcao doing what he does best – scoring goals for fun.
Since his loan move from AS Monaco on transfer deadline day, the Colombian international has netted just once for United – in a 2-1 victory at home to Everton – and injury, competition for places and a lack of match fitness has seen him feature rarely so far.
The 28-year-old returned to the side on Saturday, appearing as a second-half substitute in the 3-0 win against Hull City, and it had been suggested he could start this evening’s match against Stoke City.
That could still happen, but there are some very good reasons why it is far more likely Falcao will have to make do with a place on the bench once again.
Robin van Persie has scored in all four of his appearances against Stoke since he moved to United and following his fine effort against the Tigers there is every chance he can continue that record.
The Netherlands international has scored 11 goals in 10 games against the Potters in total, failing to net against them just once. So as much as Louis van Gaal will want Falcao fit and firing again he will also want his countryman to go on a scoring run that could fire United further up the table and perhaps even give league leaders Chelsea something to think about.
Wayne Rooney’s performance against Hull means he is likely to keep his place and dropping van Persie for Falcao would make little sense.
It would have been understandable during the Dutchman’s woeful run but he looked far better on Saturday and his manager will want him to continue that form this week against a side he thrives against.
Falcao will get his chances, but for now he may have to make do with cameo appearances rather than starts.