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Monday, September 1, 2014

What will Radamel Falcao Add to Manchester United? Van Gaal’s Signings Leave Him Open to Ridicule

There's always that one deal that shocks the football world on the final day of a transfer window. Somehow, some Andy Caroll will command a £35million transfer fee, or some Fernando Torres will hand in a transfer request or just something quite unexpected will happen.

It's amazing but almost equally stupid how club managers and those who fund them wait until the final day to make things happen. Somehow, one set of fans are always left wondering what next as the other celebrate some unexpected marquee signing.

The just ending transfer window hasn't been any different in spite of most managers doing their deals early on. For sure, the signing of Radamel Falcao by Manchester United has to be the most shocking piece of business this summer.

The Colombian made an out of the blue switch from Monaco to Old Trafford in what was is the most astonishing deal on the always dramatic, unpredictable transfer deadline day. His departure from the French club was widely expected but no one had foreseen him wearing the Red of Manchester. Real Madrid seemed his preferred and more likely destination while although a move to the Premier was occasionally deliberated on, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal or even Chelsea seemed the more obvious choices especially after United snapped up Angel Di Maria.

But oops!

The addition of the 28-year-old Santa Marta-born 5ft 10in forward makes United’s front line look scary (in a good way). Robin van Persie is a player capable of scoring 20 odd goals in a season, fitness permitting. Wayne Rooney can and does get past double figures even without being the main man up front while Angel di Maria can average 10 goals or so from the attacking midfield position since he’s more of a creator than a finisher.

Falcao has scored 104 goals in 139 appearances in Portugal, Spain and French leagues, that’s an average of 0.74 goals per game, a deadly figure matched by very few forwards in the world. Juan Mata, Adnan Januzaj and to an extent Antonio Valencia are all forward-minded players which begs the question, how will van Gaal set his team up this season given the obvious lack of quality behind the front – five?

Will Manchester United’s plan this season be to score more goals than they concede? It’s hard to argue otherwise especially after the loan signing of the former Atletico Madrid and Porto man.

When van Gaal took over at Manchester United following his successful spell with the Dutch national team at the World Cup, much was said of how the record Premier League winners had gotten themselves a master tactician, a man who could tinker with his squad and still get results.

However, 4 games without victory having played lowly clubs like Burnley, MK Dons, Sunderland and Swansea City leaves his much hyped CV open to criticism and/or ridicule. Against Burnley last weekend, they looked toothless going forward in spite of fielding Di Maria, a £59.7m British record signing from Real Madrid.

They failed to break them down and looked ever so vulnerable when Burnley attacked. Although Di Maria and his attacking co failed to create anything meaningful (United only managed 2 shots on target), it was clear the backline needed the most work.

Of course the likes of left back Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Deley Blind are all yet to feature for the Red Devils but what if the latter two fail to adapt to the pace and tenacity that the Premier League demands week in week out?

There’s no doubt that the signing of Falcao will make United even more of an attacking threat but just how good will they be at the back?

And That's thesteifmastertake!!