Will Radamel Falcao follow in the footsteps of former goal machine at Old Trafford?

Radamel Falcao

Radamel Falcao is yet to show his best form as a Manchester United player, but can he one day reach the heights of former poacher Ruud van Nistelrooy?

Since joining Manchester United on a season-long deal on transfer deadline day, Radamel Falcao has failed to make the immediate impact many were expecting.

Nonetheless, despite struggling to regain match fitness following a lengthy six-month spell on the sidelines, he has still been able to show glimpses of his world-class ability. 

To date, the 28-year-old has netted three Premier League goals for the Red Devils, all of which have come from inside the 18-yard-box. Operating inside this space, the Colombian, with his poacher's instincts, looks capable of finishing any opportunity that comes his way. 

Hard luck and decent displays of goalkeeping have been the main cause of his lack of goals, thus far. Considering Falcao has hit the target from 52% of his attempts - a better success rate than any other United forward - while converting 14% of these opportunities, he is clearly posing a significant threat. 

  TeamGoalsShooting Accuracy (%)Conversion Rate (%)AssistsKey PassesAppearancesMins Played
Falcao Man Utd 3 52 14 3 10 12 604

In terms of his ability inside the penalty area, comparisons can easily be made with former Red Devil Ruud van Nistelrooy; the epitome of the traditional Premier League poacher and the second most prolific Premiership striker ever in terms of goals per game.

The Dutchman scored a very impressive 150 goals in 219 appearances for United between 2001 and 2006 - a period in which he accrued both a Premier League title and an FA Cup winners' medal, as well as various individual accolades, including a Golden Boot and a Player of the Season award. 

Of course, Falcao offers far more than just a clinical eye inside the box. Unlike van Nistelrooy, Falcao is a complete forward, capable of dropping deep and receiving the ball, before carrying possession into the final third. While harboring the same obsession for goals as the Dutchman, he offers much more in terms of his overall technical ability. 

The Colombian's reputation as a goalscorer proceeds him, and it won't be long before he is firing on all cylinders in the Premier League. With Atletico Madrid and Porto - Monaco remains a blip on his otherwise illustrious career - everything he touched seemed to turn to gold, and under the guidance of Louis van Gaal, one would expect the same to occur at Old Trafford. 

Providing he can secure a permanent switch to the Red Devils before the end of the season, there are few reasons to suggest Falcao cannot follow in the footsteps of van Nistelrooy and become a favourite with the fans.

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