Top 5: Manchester United South American flops Falcao could follow

Falcao Sir Alex

With the on-loan Colombian cutting an increasingly forlorn figure, we rank our top five memorable South American signings who also failed to deliver.

After another goalless appearance in Manchester United’s 3-1 FA Cup victory over League One Preston, Radamel Falcao appears to be on his way out of Old Trafford, with the Colombian so far failing to convince either the fans or manager Louis van Gaal of his long-term worth with two goals in 19 appearances to date.

The 29-year-old is earning a reported £265,000 a week, per the Telegraph, during his season-long stay at the club and regardless of whether the Red Devils pay the £43 million required to sign him on a permanent basis at the end of the season he is likely to go down as one of the club’s more notable recent flops.

But Falcao is not the first South American to struggle at Old Trafford – here are five of the most memorable Latin American let downs.

5. Anderson

Signed from Porto for a hefty £20 million in the summer of 2007, it’s important to remember the good times when it comes to Anderson and these were plentiful in the Brazilian’s early years at the club, during which he won multiple Premier League titles and a Champions League crown.

Though the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson hardly helped things, Anderson was already on the downward curve by the time the Scot left with the Brazilian failing to impress David Moyes and similarly underwhelming during a rare appearance in United’s 4-0 loss to MK Dons earlier this term.

Now back in Brazil, Anderson’s alarming lack of fitness has become glaringly obvious with the 26-year-old subbed off early in a recent game for Internacional after struggling with ‘the altitude’.

4. Diego Forlan

Though the Uruguayan would go on to resurrect his career in La Liga and with Uruguay, Forlan struggled for goals for much of his time at Old Trafford, though he is fondly remembered for important strikes against Liverpool in the Premier League and Rangers in the Champions League.

Signed from Independiente for £6.9 million by Ferguson in January 2002, having previously been close to a Middlesbrough move, Forlan did not score in any of his first 27 outings for the club and ultimately departed having netted just 17 goals in 95 appearances.

Despite this he went on to claim the European Golden Shoe as the continent’s top scorer on two occasions and the Golden Ball as the best player at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

3. Fabio Da Silva

Though twin brother Rafael has notched up over 100 appearances for Manchester United to date, his brother Fabio failed to break into the Red Devils first-team with Patrice Evra blocking his way for much of his initial time at the club.

Signed for just over £2.5 million, as a youngster, Fabio was actually regarded as the better footballer of the two Brazilian siblings prior to his arrival in the Premier League but failed to inspire much in the way of confidence from Ferguson.

Initially loaned to QPR, where he also failed to shine, Fabio moved to Cardiff City on a permanent basis just over a year ago with his brother still very much in Louis van Gaal’s plans.

2. Kleberson

One South American flop who enjoyed a largely anonymous spell in the English top-flight, Kleberson arrived at Manchester United to much fanfare, having been part of the Brazil team that won the World Cup under Luis Felipe Scolari in 2002.

Brought to Old Trafford almost a year later for £6.5 million, injuries curtailed the central midfielder’s impact with Kleberson making just 20 appearances and scoring two goals in the process.

Sold on to Besiktas for around half the fee United had previously paid, Kleberson would make headlines years later after being involved in a swap deal that saw him move from Bahia to Philadelphia Union with forgotten Manchester United trialist Freddy Adu going in the opposite direction.

1. Juan Sebastian Veron

When it comes to South American flops at Manchester United, the benchmark remains the £28.1 million signing of Veron from Lazio in the summer of 2001.

Brought in to help ward off Arsenal and give United the boost needed to reassert themselves in the Champions League, Veron failed miserably on both fronts with the frenetic pace of the Premier League proving too much for the Argentine who was accustomed to having more time on the ball.

Promising in bursts, particularly in Europe, injuries also reduced the South American’s impact at the club and though United reclaimed the Premier League title during his second season, no Champions League honours were forthcoming with Veron moving to Chelsea for £15 million at the end of the campaign.

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