Louis van Gaal admits he is looking for a solution to get the best out of Radamel Falcao, who has failed to find his best form for Manchester United.
The Colombian international was regarded as one of the most prolific goalscorers in world football not so long ago, having scored 72 goals in 87 games for Porto upon his arrival in Europe. From there he went to Atletico Madrid, hitting 70 in 91, and he scored 13 goals in 22 matches during an injury-hit spell in France with Monaco, which led to his loan move to Old Trafford in the summer.
At the time it was considered as one of the coups of the transfer window, yet Falcao has been something of a disaster for the Reds. The 29-year-old, who cost a loan fee of £6million for the season, has scored just four times in 19 outings in all competitions, and was this week substituted during a surprise appearance for the Under-21 side in which he again failed to register.
It now looks certain that United will bid the striker farewell when his temporary spell comes to an end, rather than fork out the required £42million to take him on a permanent basis. In the meantime, he will likely play a part in their push for a top-four finish to ensure UEFA Champions League football next season, whilst van Gaal will continue to try and revive the fortunes of his number 9.
“We are looking for the solution for him,” said the former Holland head coach, “but you never can know that – a lot of aspects you can’t control as a manager, nor as a player. You can easily write ‘he can’t play football, he didn’t do that’. But I can’t say that and don’t want to say it because Falcao, and all the other players, are working very hard and I’m very pleased with their attitude.”
With Robin van Persie still sidelined with injury, Falcao could get another opportunity to prove his quality on Sunday afternoon when Tottenham Hotspur travel north for a crucial Premier League fixture. A win for the Londoners would see them move level on points with United in the chase for a top-four finish, and such a result would also place Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool in a strong position heading to their weekend clash away to Swansea City on Monday evening.