When Manchester United pulled off the signing of Radamel Falcao last season we all thought: wow, what a signing! But his spell at Old Trafford was a disappointment; he scored just four times for the Red Devils in 26 appearances and it comes as no shock that Louis van Gaal did not sign the Colombian striker permanently.
The 29-year-old now finds himself in London; playing for Premier League champions Chelsea, after José Mourinho has brought him to Stamford Bridge on a season-long loan from AS Monaco. It goes without saying that this is a huge gamble from the Portuguese manager, but it is one that his defenders John Terry and Gary Cahill back. Cahill recalls Falcao as being a real nuisance: “He was always pulling you left to right, coming short and running in behind. Even when he wasn’t getting a lot of the ball, off the ball I was having to do a lot of running, chasing him and he was moving me around every two minutes.” It’s that sort of striker defenders hate playing against – and because of this (plus five other main reasons), Falcao will be a success at Chelsea.
1) He should be fitter
Whilst he didn’t have the best of tournaments with Colombia at the Copa America during the summer, he still got game time under his belt, as his nation crashed out in the quarter-finals to Argentina on penalties. Falcao failed to find the net in his four games at the competition, however Chelsea fans will be pleased that he has played over the summer and he is off to a great start in a blue shirt, scoring two times in two games. The misfire striker from last season was recovering from a serious knee injury that ruled him out for the 2014 World Cup, but he is now looks fresh, his movement is on point and he is starting to look like the Falcao who played for FC Porto and Atletico Madrid. A fitter Falcao will give you goals. Lots of them.
2) José Mourinho
Mourinho has won almost everything club football can throw at him making him one of the most decorated managers in Europe. He is so often called ‘The Special One’ – but can Mourinho use his managerial expertise to inspire Falcao? We believe so. The ex-Porto and Atletico Madrid star has the trust from his new manager, as Mourinho really admires him, admitting he was scared of him last season when the striker was at Manchester United. The 52-year-old manager can get the best out of his players and will certainly push Falcao to become a huge hit in London. If there is one man in the world to transform Falcao, it is Mourinho.
3) Better players around him
Not to say Manchester United lack attacking prowess and creativity, it’s just that Chelsea’s attacking stars are far, far better. Fabregas, Hazard, Oscar, Diego Costa plus many more will make Falcao score. Easy as that. The service will be nothing like Falcao would have seen before, especially with Fabregas, the top assister in the Premier League last season with an outstanding total of 18 assists, along with Hazard’s 9 and Oscar’s 8; Falcao just has to score.
4) No pressure on him
At Manchester United he was expected to score when he joined. Not just a few; not just to break into double figures; we’re talking mid-20s. Come May 2015, Falcao had only netted four goals. ‘Flop’, as they now say these days. This season most people won’t expect the Colombian to score a lot of goals due to his poor first season in England, meaning there isn’t a great deal of pressure on the striker. He can now relax, get back playing to the standard we all know he can play at and do what he does best (well, what he used to do), scoring.
5) He is a natural finisher
You only have to look at his stats to see that he does know how to find the net – just maybe not in England. Falcao scored 72 goals in 87 appearances for Porto and 70 goals in Spain for Atletico Madrid. They are astonishing stats that we all hope he matches – or at least gets close to – for Chelsea. Give him the ball in front of goal and nine times out of ten it will be nestling in the net.