It has been torrid debut season at Manchester United for Radamel Falcao. When he signed for the club on deadline day last summer, hopes were extremely high among the Red Devils fan base.
Falcao is a proven world class striker on his day so for him to have surprisingly decided to move to Old Trafford on loan was a momentous occasion. The Colombian was supposed to come to England and score goals for fun.
Unfortunately for United and Falcao, it just hasn’t materialised. Four goals is a paltry return for such a heavyweight striker, who has not delivered anywhere near as much as many expected.
Not only has he not had enough regular starts, but he has been played in unfamiliar systems for the majority of the season. He thrives on service played over the top or from wide areas, but Louis van Gaal has chosen a patient, measured passing approach instead of playing to his striker's strengths.
Add to that the fact that Falcao has only completed 90 minutes in the Premier League just four times, combined with the serious knee injury he only returned from last August, and it is obvious where the problems lies.
Yes, he hasn’t contributed anywhere near what his hefty wage commands of him, but he hasn’t exactly had many opportunities to shine at Old Trafford either.
United legend Andy Cole agrees. He is backing Falcao to come good next season, whether United opt to sign him permanently or not.
Cole told the Daily Mail, “I look at Falcao and I still think he is a quality player. If you look at his movement and what he has done for his national team, you know he scores goals. His record before coming here was phenomenal, absolutely ridiculous.”
“I know he has had an indifferent time since coming to Manchester United and everyone is saying he can't score goals any more, but no - it isn't like that. He has not got as many as he would have liked when he came to Manchester United. But that doesn't mean he is a bad player. He is far from a bad player.”
But Cole was not finished there when sticking up for his fellow striker. He continued, “I don't know whether United will keep him. The powers that be are considering it. If he doesn't stay here next year and he goes somewhere else, he will score goals.
“You don't stop scoring goals because you have an injury or whatever. It might take a little bit longer to recover from the injury but once you get injured it doesn't mean you stop. He will score goals wherever. If he doesn't stay here he will definitely do that.”