Football

Louis van Gaal says Radamel Falcao must settle for substitute role

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is unconcerned if on-loan striker Radamel Falcao is unhappy spending time on the substitutes' bench.

The veteran Dutch coach insists that Falcao can only currently play for 20 minutes during matches because he is still completing his recovery from a calf injury, which kept him out of action for a month.

Van Gaal also confirmed that Falcao will not start in this evening's Premier League clash against Southampton at St Mary's.

Van Gaal: 'I'm not interested'

The Colombian superstar, who currently earns £265,000-a-week, has only scored one goal for the Red Devils since arriving on a season-long loan from AS Monaco in the summer - but Van Gaal is adamant that he will only start the striker when he's fully fit and not before.

“I’m not interested," Van Gaal responded when asked about Falcao. "He has to follow my philosophy. Do you understand that? Yeah, I’m here because of that.”

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When asked whether Falcao had started recent matches on the bench due to his lack of fitness, Van Gaal commented: “Yes, match fitness. He has trained now maybe two days after the match [with Hull]. So we had the match against Stoke on Tuesday when he played for 15 minutes.

"Then we had the training sessions after Tuesday. And before Tuesday I didn’t train – I trained the box exercise. You know the box exercise? Yeah? It is not a training session."

James Wilson

Manchester United's 19-year-old striker James Wilson started ahead of Falcao during last week's 2-1 win over Stoke City in the absence of captain Wayne Rooney, who will take his place back in the Red Devils' starting line-up on Monday night.

The South American was sent on for the final 12 minutes but did not have enough time to make an impact.

Permanent contract

Falcao is currently playing for a permanent contract at Old Trafford, but doubts persist over whether Manchester United will offer a deal to the former Atletico Madrid star if he continues to struggle with various injury problems.

The world-class number nine, who scored a magnificent 70 goals in 91 appearances for Atletico before joining Monaco in 2013, suffered a serious knee injury at the start of the year, subsequently missed the World Cup finals in Brazil and hasn't looked the same player since.

But Falcao still has another five months to get back to his best and prove to Van Gaal that he deserves to become Manchester United's permanent number nine.

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Topics:
Southampton
James Wilson
Manchester United
Premier League
Football

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