Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao has endured a difficult start to his career in England.
The on-loan forward from Monaco arrived at Old Trafford after a spending the end of last season and this summer rehabilitating from a knee injury. The Colombian missed out on his country’s World Cup campaign, had little to no pre-season and only made a handful of substitution appearances for Monaco before making a Deadline Day switch to Manchester United.
After working his way into United’s lineup and scoring the decisive goal against Everton in early October, the striker was soon sidelined with another injury.
Since that time, Louis van Gaal has elected to ease the Colombia international back into United’s lineup.
The Dutch manager told reporters two weeks ago that he would prefer Falcao to regain his match fitness with United’s reserves. But due to the club’s ongoing injury issues, Van Gaal has elected to keep the striker with the first-team.
At the time, the manager said he believed the on-loan forward was only fit to play 20 minutes at a time. But recent matches have shown that Falcao nearing full fitness and could be ready to unleash his goalscoring skills on Premier League opponents.
With that said, the striker’s lack of first-team action has raised questions about his future at Old Trafford.
It is widely known that United brought the player for £5 million this summer and hold an option to buy out his contract from Monaco for another £43 million at the end of the season.
At this time, a deal has not been agreed on and Falcao is aware that he needs to impress his manager and show that he can remain at 100% fitness.
In an interview with the British press, the striker remained cautiously optimistic about his future with the twenty-time champion of England. The Colombian expressed that his happiness regarding United’s recent six-match winning streak. He also told the newspaper that he hopes to contribute to the club’s success and wants to be a part of Manchester United for the long term.
“From my point of view, yes I want to stay,” Falcao said. “But obviously I have to analyze the situation, see if I play more and see what decision the board takes. But I really want to stay.”
The striker then commented on his match fitness.
“I am very well. I’m almost at 100 percent now, let’s see wait and see what the decision of the coach is, when he wants to use me more.”
“We talk a lot, the coach and I. He has a philosophy that I respect. I have had an injury, and I have had to wait for the opportunity to play.”
“I feel ready for the moment that the team needs me. Whenever I have the opportunity to come on I try to do my best for the coach and I try to help the team.”
“I am very happy because of the run that we are on. I am not playing many minutes but I am sure that there will be more opportunities to play.”
“Every footballer wants to play, no one is happy when they are not playing, when they are on the bench, but whenever I am given the opportunity, whether it be for five, ten, twenty or ninety minutes, I have to give my best.”
United players have come to Falcao’s defense in recent weeks. His teammates are aware of the ability the Colombian striker poses and feel that it’s only a matter of time before he regains full fitness and terrorizes Premier League defenders.
“The fans love Falcao because he fights for every ball like it is the last ball of his life,” midfielder Ander Herrera recently stated. “That is one of his best characteristics.”
“We are lucky that Falcao is here and I’m sure he’s going to be a very important player and I think the Manchester United fans know that.”
“When a player gets injured it’s a bad moment for them.”
“I know Falcao well. I knew him in Spain, he was fantastic. Atletico Madrid won the Spanish Cup against Real Madrid and he was the most valuable player in the final and we want to see Falcao as soon as possible on the pitch here.”
Programming note: Aston Villa vs Manchester United will be shown LIVE on NBC Sports Network on Saturday at 10:00am EST
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