Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim feels Radamel Falcao has silenced his critics with his fine performances this campaign.
The 31-year-old returned to Monaco ahead of this season following unconvincing loan spells with Manchester United and Chelsea.
There were question marks over whether he would be able to rediscover his old form, but he has impressed with a string of fine performances, scoring 24 goals in all competitions.
He netted a double – his second coming courtesy of a stunning chip – in the 5-3 Champions League last-16 first-leg loss to Manchester City on Tuesday, though he also missed a penalty at the Etihad Stadium.
“Falcao is very important for us,” Jardim said at a news conference.
“We have done a lot of work with him to get him ready to compete again and things are going very well. I am very happy that he has rediscovered his level of before. A lot of people were sceptical about his chances of getting back to his best. He deserves all the praise he has been getting.
“His second goal against Manchester City was the goal of the season.
“Falcao will continue to take penalties. I am someone who knows how things work in life. There are times when things go well and sometimes there are complicated moments. We cannot criticise a player who gives you so much in return.”
Jardim also had his say on Kylian Mbappe following the youngster’s rise to prominence and he had nothing but praise for the gifted attacker.
“Kylian has been here for a year and a half and we believe in him,” Jardim added.
“He is a young guy who is still progressing. He has made another step up compared to last year. He is a quick learner, who listens more, takes care of himself and is very professional.
“He possesses a great dynamic going forward and also works hard defensively.”
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