Radamel Falcao believes his season-long loan spell at Manchester United made him a more complete player, despite his well-documented struggles at Old Trafford.
The Colombia international, who is set to complete a surprise loan move to Chelsea from parent club AS Monaco in the coming weeks, made the bizarre claim in a recent interview.
Falcao refuted suggestions that he flopped at Old Trafford - four goals in 29 appearances suggests otherwise - and instead claimed that he improved during the nine months he spent with the Red Devils.
“It depends what criteria you are using,” Falcao was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News after being asked whether he felt he had failed. “People said I was not on the field and not scoring goals. But Falcao was always there.
“Today Falcao is a more complete player.”
Falcao was a huge disappointment at United
Big things were expected of Falcao, the former FC Porto and Atletico Madrid goal machine, after he completed a deadline-day move to Manchester United last September.
It quickly became apparent, though, that the serious knee injury Falcao suffered in January 2014 had left a shell of the world-class striker who scored goals for fun in La Liga.
Falcao now looked slow and weak, while his first touch was often dreadful. With each passing week his performances seemed to deteriorate further.
Van Gaal insisted that he would leave it until the end of the season before making a final decision over Falcao - there were reports United would turn his loan move into a permanent deal - but it soon became apparent in the second half of the campaign that Falcao would be returning to Monaco.
Sure enough, just hours after United’s final match of the season - against Hull City at the KC Stadium - the Red Devils announced they would not be keeping Falcao for a second campaign.
Mourinho is taking a massive gamble
But not even his disastrous spell with the Premier League giants has deterred Jose Mourinho, who feels he can get the best out of 29-year-old Falcao at Stamford Bridge.
The Colombian has reportedly agreed terms with the Blues and the deal could be announced as early as this weekend.
Falcao is currently on international duty at the Copa America in Chile, but failed to make any sort of impact in his side’s 1-0 defeat to Venezuela on Sunday, earning himself an embarrassing 2/10 rating from Spanish newspaper Marca in the process.
Has Radamel Falcao improved as a player over the past year - or is he talking rubbish? Will he shine at Chelsea next season? Have your say in the comments below!