The words Falcao and failure were used a lot together during his time in the Premier League.
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After loan stints at both Manchester United and Chelsea produced just five goals across two injury-hit seasons the Colombian forward has returned to parent club AS Monaco to try and rebuild his career.
Now he’s back in Monaco, a top ranking official from AS Monaco has slammed both United and Chelsea for their treatment of Falcao.
Speaking to the Daily Mail ahead of Monaco’s UEFA Champions League group stage opener against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday, Monaco’s vice-president Vadim Vasilyev launched a scathing attack on the way “El Tigre” was handled during his time in England.
“Both clubs in England failed to relaunch him,” Vasilyev said. “I don’t know whether Manchester United or Chelsea did not have the patience or the desire to do that but I am quite sure this year we will see Falcao at his previous best. He is the same Falcao as ever. We’ve seen that in pre-season. He scores goals, he’s there and he is motivated, we are motivated and I think this will be his year.”
“If you sign a player of this magnitude after a big injury it takes time and games to get him back into shape. This is what we will do and what Manchester United and Chelsea didn’t do, failed to do or didn’t want to do. We all see the qualities are there and it is a matter of time. You will see a very different Falcao this season tot he one you saw in England.”
The main issue here is that Falcao has simply never looked the same since he injured his ACL in January 2014 at Monaco and subsequently missed the 2014 World Cup and ended up moving to Manchester United in August.
Under Louis Van Gaal he struggled mightily, often seeming to try too hard and scored just four goals for the Red Devils and was often used as a sub in his 29 appearances for United. Despite that poor loan spell Falcao ended up at Chelsea for the 2015-16 season but more injuries and a poor run of form for the Blues under Jose Mourinho saw Falcao fail to break through as he started just one PL game and scored one goal in 12 total appearances for the west London club.
Falcao has only played once for Monaco so far this season and he did not feature for Colombia at the Copa America Centenario of Rio 2016 this summer, even though the Colombian national team captain told ProSoccerTalk in April that he wanted to play in both tournaments.
It is clear he needs games to regain his sharpness but with over two years of rust to shake off, will we ever see the real Falcao again?
I’m talking about the predatory forward who scored 142 goals in 178 games in all competitions for FC Porto and Atletico Madrid in a blistering four-season spell which saw him move to Monaco for a club record $67.4 million. He was then shipped out on loan to United and Chelsea due to UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules meaning the principality club would’ve struggled to pay his reported wages of $20.4 million per season.
Falcao hasn’t got the game time he needs but you can still see flashes of the man who was the most clinical finisher on the planet from 2009-13.