It is fair to say Radamel Falcao’s loan spell at Manchester United has not – as yet – gone according to plan.
When the Colombian international arrived in a temporary deal from AS Monaco on transfer deadline day, few could argue that, on paper at least, United had one of the best strike-forces in Europe.
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But the player who netted 70 goals in 90 matches for Atletico Madrid, 72 times in 87 matches for FC Porto and 195 times in total in his club career has flattered to deceive at Old Trafford.
In 22 matches for United Falcao has scored just four times, although he has been used sparingly and had injuries to contend with.
But there could be light at the end of the tunnel, with two upcoming matches the potential catalyst to see a resurgent Falcao return to United with the bit between his teeth.
The 29-year-old is in Colombian’s squad for their upcoming friendlies against Bahrain and Kuwait and without wishing to do either side a disservice, they are the kind of opponents Falcao and his teammates should thrive against.
All the United loanee really needs is time on the pitch and a confidence boost, and he could get both in the next week.
If he can fill his boots in the next 180 minutes of football there is no reason why he could not return to United on form at just the right time, with a top-four finish in sight and matches against the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea on the horizon.