Join me, for just a moment, and think back to a time when Radamel Falcao, then starring for Atletico Madrid, was perhaps the best pure striker in the entire world (70 goals in 91 appearances over two seasons).
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That time, which came to an end in 2013, is not that long ago — just two and a half years, in fact — which is what makes the Colombian striker’s fall from superstardom to total irrelevance over 30 months’ time all the more strange. The knee injury in 2014 did him no favors, of course, but the player we watched 29 times (4 goals) for Manchester United last season is not the Falcao we once knew.
Falcao’s prospects — these days, at Chelsea, where he’s scored one goal in nine appearances (two starts) — are so bleak at this moment that he might not even finish the current season in London, as rumors once again surfaced on Sunday that Chelsea want to cancel the 29-year-old’s season-long loan deal in January in order to open up a spot on their roster and sign another new striker.
Here’s the catch, though: Monaco don’t want the player’s wages back on their books, and both sides would have to agree to terminate the loan deal before its agreed completion date — a concession the Ligue 1 side is not likely to make. The solution? Finding another club to take on Falcao’s wages, which are reported to be $375,000 per week.
Given that there are roughly eight clubs in the world that could afford to pay Falcao at that price — and that he’s already played for three of them over the last 18 months — a solution of that nature seems unlikely. Another option? Falcao agrees to cancel the remainder of his contract, which runs through the summer of 2018, and becomes a free agent, thus letting everyone off the hook and costing himself roughly $50 million over the next two and a half years.
Yeah, that’s not going to happen.