On Friday it was confirmed that Premier League champions Chelsea have completed the season-long loan signing of Monaco and Colombia striker Radamel Falcao.
The 29-year-old will now look to revive his flagging career at Stamford Bridge next season.
It is being reported that Falcao was so desperate to prove himself in the Premier League that he took a massive wage cut to make the move to Stamford Bridge.
In truth, Falcao has only really had one bad season in his career in European football, but the bad season came last season on-loan in the Premier League with Manchester United. As a footballer you are only as good as your last season, game and so on.
The move to Manchester United last summer was supposed to be good for everybody involved. The Colombian had just returned to action after a six months injury lay-off through serious injury and it was the chance to prove that he was still able to perform at the highest level.
The signing was regarded as something of a coup for United, as they thought they were signing one of the world’s most deadly strikers. Unfortunately his signing turned out to be a dead loss.
A goal scoring record of just four goals in his time at Old Trafford summed-up what turned out to be a miserable spell in the English top-flight for the Colombian striker. He looked like a shadow of the striker who struck fear into the hearts of defenders while at FC Porto and Atletico Madrid.
Prior to his move to United Radamel Falcao was regarded as one of the best out-and-out number nines in the world game. Most clubs would have had him in their team. He had absolutely every attribute of a truly world-class striker.
His time at both Porto and Atletico Madrid was filled with goals. In two seasons in Portugal the striker scored 41 goals in 51 Portuguese top-flight games, while a record of 52 goals in 68 La Liga appearances is an even more impressive record in the Spanish top-flight.
Ironically he had a better strike-rate in Portugal and Spain than he did in the early part of his career in South America, as the young Falcao only found the net 34 times in 90 appearances for Argentinian giants River Plate.
Having Falcao in your team was virtually a guarantee of scoring goals. He was simply that lethal in front of goal. However, something changed that and that something was injury.
The knee injury picked in January 2014 may be the cause of Falcao’s struggles at United last season. Sidelined for six months, the striker made his return to training and first team action in July. He was expected to just return to his usual powerful self and start scoring goals again.
In his first three appearances of last season for Monaco he actually scored two goals. There were little signs of the struggles that were to come at Old Trafford, where he flopped worse than a jellyfish on Blackpool beach.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is a big admirer of Falcao’s talents from his days at Porto and Atletico Madrid. The Portuguese boss is not a bad judge of player considering the silverware and trophies he has won down the years with various clubs.
Mourinho knows that Radamel Falcao is a better player than the one who seemed to lose all confidence in his massive ability last season.
Falcao will not be short of familiar company next season at Stamford Bridge, as former-Rojiblancos teammates Felipe Luis, Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois are at Chelsea, as is Colombian international teammate Juan Cuadrado.
If Falcao was heading to Chelsea as the first choice striker then I would not be surprised if he was a big success. However, Falcao will be back-up to former-Atleti teammate Diego Costa at the Bridge next season, in a role reversal of their time in Madrid.
Costa is undoubtedly first choice striker at Chelsea, but one ray of light for Falcao would be that the Spanish international does pick-up a lot of niggling injuries, so he may get to see quite a bit of action next season.
Falcao needs game time in order to get back to his sharpest in front of goal. He is not guaranteed that with the English champions.
For me Chelsea signing Radamel Falcao is a no-lose for the Blues. They have paid out a minimal loan fee for a player who has history of being prolific in front of goal. If he is successful then they can sign him on a permanent deal, if not he returns to the principality.
Jose Mourinho is a very clever manager and he knows that he could not get a striker anywhere else with the same goal scoring record. This could be a very shrewd signing by the Portuguese boss.
Will Radamel Falcao revive his career at Chelsea?