By Ollie Cranham-Young
- Falcao arrived at Old Trafford on season-long loan on deadline day of summer transfer window of 2014
- Columbian striker scored 4 goals in 29 appearances for United
Rewind 16 months. It is transfer deadline day, one of the most eagerly anticipated days on the sporting calendar and unlike United, they have signed one of the biggest names in world football.
It is not common of United to sign big names nor sign them with only hours remaining of the window, so every United fan’s face beamed with the delight as they were watching Sky Sports News on the 31st August 2014.
I think I can speak for all United fans when I say we were all immensely excited at the thought of signing, albeit only a loan, one of the most exciting prospects in world football.
The words Radamel Falcao were the most searched thing on YouTube that day, as every United fan desired to relive some of the superstars former glories, especially his incredible bicycle-kick whilst featuring for Atletico Madrid during his time in Spain.
His transfer was not official until the early hours of the next morning, in which many United fans stayed up to witness, still marvelled by the revolution they have just added to their ever growing squad, and stolen from under arch rivals Manchester City’s noses, might I add.
The terms that were agreed were that Falcao would play for United for one season, with the option of extending the loan and then finally making a full transfer if the club see fit. Cue mass excitement and anticipation among United players and fans alike.
Falcao made his debut on the day in which United achieved their first win of the new campaign, as they swept aside QPR 4-0, which is still their highest win under Louis Van Gaal to date.
Falcao received a standing ovation from the Old Trafford faithful, as he came on for the last 23 minutes of the game, but unfortunately, the excitement would be short lived. Falcao, who everybody assumed was a prolific goalscorer, only accumulated four goals in 29 appearances for Louis Van Gaal’s side.
The first time he netted it turned out to be the decisive goal of the key home fixture against Everton, Falcao scored the winning goal in a 2-1 win and immediately had the home crowd singing his name.
United’s faithful had to wait two months before seeing Falcao score again, this time against Aston Villa in a 1-1 draw at Villa Park.
Six days later, he equalised again away from home, this time a goal at the Britannia Stadium. His final goal for the club was a scrappy finish in a 3-1 victory over Leicester City at home on the last day of January.
Why Did Falcao Fail?
Many attribute his failure to two reasons. His injury prior to signing in which meant he had unfortunately missed out on the World Cup in Brazil to, or the fact he was often demoted to the bench by manager Louis Van Gaal.
Falcao has recently justified his failure by claiming he was not given time to excel by Van Gaal and that he struggled amid competition from fellow Strikers Rooney and Van Persie.
Falcao felt that his recent knee surgery played a part in Van Gaal’s team selections and thus did not allow him to implement any consistency into his game.
Falcao has made just 11 appearances for Chelsea so far scoring just one goal and will not play any part in tomorrow night’s fixture at Old Trafford.
Falcao’s one goal for Chelsea, means the Columbian striker has five goals from 40 appearances in one-and-a-half seasons in English football.
Not what you expect from a striker who was prolific for both Porto and Atletico Madrid during his days in Portugal and Spain.
Unfortunately, it did not work out for the Columbian at Old Trafford, and his future doesn’t look any brighter at Stamford Bridge. Maybe not extending Falcao’s Old Trafford loan was one of the few good things that United have done this season.
Would he have succeeded and excelled under a manager with a different style of play? We’ll never know. But the decision not to extend Falcao’s loan or sign him permanently is looking like the right one.