The international transfer window officially closed on Monday with Manchester United making the biggest impact at the eleventh hour. After placing seventh in the Premier League in a forgettable season under David Moyes, the Red Devils and their worldwide fan base are anxious to get back into the Champions League and towards the top of the table by the end of this season. With Angel Di Maria making his debut over the weekend and the addition of striker Radamel Falcao, United look to regain their pole position atop the Premier League.
The 28-year-old Colombian joins Manchester United on loan for the rest of this season. The transfer fee cost Man U roughly $9 million from AS Monaco and the club has the option to buy Falcao at the end of the loan. United won the bidding war with competing offers from Real Madrid, Manchester City and Arsenal hot on their heels. With the additional signings of Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw, their expensive summer shopping spree has now surpassed a total of £200 million for the club’s new players.
Falcao is one of the world’s most prolific goal scorers. Since his European debut in 2009, El Tigre has scored 104 in 139 games for FC Porto, Atletico Madrid and AS Monaco. Falcao’s health was of concern as he suffered a season-ending knee injury in January, which held him out of the summer’s World Cup. Assuming he’s up to proper fitness, he joins one of England’s, and Europe’s, top rated attacks alongside Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.
Falcao’s arrival came at a cost to Manchester United as they sold three players over the weekend. Danny Welbeck agreed to a long-term deal with Arsenal to replace injured Olivier Giroud and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has been loaned out to Real Madrid for the rest of the season. Midfielder Shinji Kagawa was also dealt away from Man U as he makes his return to the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund.
After a turbulent season one year after Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure, Manchester United started the rebuilding process by shelling out big bucks. After gaining only two points from the first two games of the new campaign, perhaps the Falcao signing was an indication of boss Louis van Gaal hitting the panic button. Whether you see the Falcao transfer as a wise investment or costly mistake, at least Cristiano Ronaldo thinks it was a smart move on his former team’s behalf.