Falcao breaks Colombia’s goal-scoring record with superb header
A Manchester United insider has reportedly taken aim at the club’s signing of Radamel Falcao nearly seven years ago. The Colombia international moved to Old Trafford from Monaco in 2014, with Louis van Gaal believing he’d struck gold. But the current Galatasaray star toiled in English football, lasting just a year at the club before joining Chelsea.
United, in 2014, wanted to make a splash.
Having finished seventh in the Premier League table under David Moyes the previous year, Ed Woodward hired Van Gaal to bring the good times back.
As a result, the club decided to show ambition. Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo all arrived to kickstart a bright new era.
And, on deadline day, United swooped for Falcao.
He’d forged a reputation for himself as one of the best strikers in world football at both Atletico Madrid and Monaco, showcasing a remarkable habit of scoring goals.
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But United, after signing Falcao, were left to rue that mistake.
The Colombian scored just four goals for the Red Devils, never looking like his usual self throughout his miserable 12-month stint with the club.
And, now, a United insider has slammed the deal – telling The Athletic: “We shouldn’t have gone near it.
“A couple of days earlier, we’d said ‘no chance’ with the sums his agent was talking about. And then it’s deadline day, panic, deal done.
“It was a loan but a bl***y expensive one. Big mistake.”
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Falcao went on to join Chelsea but struggled at Stamford Bridge, too, finding the net just once in the Premier League.
But, in the years since departing English football, the 34-year-old has continued to score goals – albeit without the same regularity as before.
He found the net 70 times throughout his final three seasons with Monaco and, so far, has bagged 16 times for Galatasaray from 31 appearances across all competitions.
Falcao said in 2015 that he had no regrets about his time at United, saying: “I had a learning moment at Manchester United.
“The move came shortly after my knee injury and my surgery, but I got the chance to play alongside some great players.
“I did not get the playing time and consistency I was looking for, but my time at United helped me grow. It made me stronger, prepared me for the future and become more consistent.”
In 2019, Falcao labelled Van Gaal as ‘special’ – but did admit the Dutchman could be ‘weird’ at times.
“Van Gaal, he’s special,” he said. “He’s someone who says things in the face. That’s pretty positive.
“But he is very ingrained with his philosophy, and sometimes it’s a bit weird.
“I am very proud, however, to have worked with him.”
Meanwhile, when United signed Edinson Cavani in the summer, he was unfairly compared to Falcao in the aftermath.
But he’s been a sublime asset for the club so far and, speaking on Friday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer compared the Uruguayan to club legend Teddy Sheringham.
“Teddy came in 1997 with his experience and I learnt a lot from him. I think he [Edinson Cavani] has come in and almost been a similar type of influence,” he said.
“We were young strikers learning off Teddy, now Cavani has Mason, Marcus and Anthony learning off him. Edinson has been a great addition.
“He leads by example, he goes about his job professionally. It’s his passion, he loves football, he loves working hard for the team. It is never me before anyone else, the team is always first.
“If he makes a mistake he is the one who is always trying to make up for it. If he makes a run to the near post and misses he will do it again and again. He believes in what he has been doing his whole football life.”
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