Radamel Falcao has spoken out about his failure at Manchester United and his subsequent career at Chelsea.
The Colombian forward arrived in the Premier League with a reputation as one of Europe's most feared strikers, but in truth a serious knee injury that ruled him out of the World Cup in 2014 meant he hasn't been able to perform at his best.
Falcao managed just four league goals in 26 appearances for the Red Devils, who opted against making his loan move from Monaco permanent at the end of the 2014/15 campaign. He subsequently moved to Chelsea on another loan deal and has fared even worse.
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He subsequently moved to Chelsea on another loan deal and has fared even worse. The 30-year-old has scored just once in nine Premier League appearances, and was reportedly close to leaving west London in January because of his continued form and injury woes. He hasn't played for the Blues since October 31.
Now Falcao has given his side of the story. The striker insists his struggles at Manchester United were more down to the lack of game time afforded to him by manager Louis van Gaal than any personal problems he was experiencing.
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“It was complicated in Manchester. Everyone saw how there were situations which created instability, since I played on some days, not on others,” Falcao told El Tiempo.
“It was 60 minutes today, then 45, then 20 – that generates instability and sometimes you don’t know where you stand or what the footballing preferences of the coach are.
“It’s been difficult. I had been used to playing regularly. After the knee surgery [at Monaco] I went to Manchester United, who were starting a new process after 25 years with the same coach, with a lot of new players and I did not have the opportunity I expected.”
Falcao will likely return to Monaco, who he joined from Atletico in a deal worth £52 million, in the summer once his loan spell with Chelsea comes to an end.
Interim boss Guus Hiddink drafted in Brazilian forward Pato in the January window as cover for leading forward Diego Costa, however he's yet to make an appearance for the team as he builds up his match fitness.
Chelsea's final hope of ending the season on a high came to an end when they crashed out of the FA Cup at the hands of Everton over the weekend at the quarter-final stage. They currently sit in tenth in the Premier League and their hopes of Champions League football are all but over, while they exited Europe's top club competition at the last-16 stage against Paris-Saint Germain last week.