Rene Meulensteen says Manchester United have taken a big risk in signing Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan.
Manchester United made headlines throughout the football world on transfer deadline day after swooping for the Monaco striker. The signing, pushed through by Louis van Gaal, has been hailed as a statement of intent from the Red Devils.
However, former Manchester United assistant, Meulensteen says although Falcao is a world-class striker, there have to be major concerns that the Colombian can no longer mix it at the top after the serious knee injury he sustained last season.
"Obviously Falcao has been excellent and is a world class striker, but the only reservation you have to have with him is, is he still, because of his recent injuries, going to be able to produce that same level as we all know he's capable of?," he told talkSPORT.
Meulensteen is referring to Falcao's knee injury, sustained whilst playing for AS Monaco last season. The 28-year-old went on to miss the World Cup, to the detriment of Colombia.
However, Falcao has since returned to action and came on as a substitute for his national side in the 1-0 defeat to Brazil. He also scored two goals from Monaco in Ligue 1 before moving to Old Trafford.
The deal for Falcao is fraught with risks, not least because it effectively pushed Danny Welbeck out of Manchester United and into the arms of Arsenal. It also has serious financial ramifications if he doesn't succeed in the Premier League.
Manchester United are reported to be paying Falcao £300,000-a-week for the duration of the loan spell while a £6 million fee has also been paid to Monaco. That means the bill will total at over £20 million if it lasts the whole season.
The reason for Meulensteen's surprise at Manchester United's move for Falcao is not restricted to the striker's dubious injury record. The Dutchman believes Van Gaal would have served his squad better by signing another centre-back, not a striker.
"Yeah [I'm surprised they didn't sign a new centre-back]. It's been well documented on TV and in newspapers about them needing one," he added.
"Everybody expected they would go for a big, strong central defender and another strong midfielder."