Former Manchester United striker Louis Saha has warned struggling Radamel Falcao that he is running out of time to secure a long-term deal at Old Trafford.
Falcao is currently on loan with the Red Devils, who have the option to make the move permanent for a £46 million fee at the end of the season. However he's struggled to make an impact so far and has managed just four goals in the Premier League in 16 appearances.
The Colombian hit a new low after he was hauled off after just 60 minutes in Manchester United's 3-1 FA Cup win against Preston to the sound of boos from the club's travelling supporters - and now Saha, who played for the Red Devils between 2004 and 2008, says he is running out of time to show boss Louis van Gaal that he should be at Old Trafford next season.
"Falcao is under pressure because of his contract," he told the Sun. “When there is that amount of money involved you are under pressure. That pressure is not on a defender, for instance.
“As a striker, you want to score. Over here you have to adapt. When you are in a different formation or different management, you have to adapt. It could take three months, six months or maybe a year before you understand it.
“It happens to the best players. It happened to Patrice Evra here. For the first six months he was struggling. He didn’t understand the physical nature of the game in England but he changed into a terrific player.”
Falcao suffered a serious knee injury last season which forced him to miss the World Cup, and it has been previously suggested that he is still not fully fit. Saha, who also struggled with knee injuries in his career, says that it can affect a player's confidence on the pitch.
"Coming back from a serious injury is very hard, the hardest time in your life," explained the 36-year-old. “You are a footballer and you want to play but you have to really, really work hard.
“You must come back physically right and also mentally. You have to get back the confidence and the linking up with other players.”
It has been suggested that Falcao could be allowed to return to Monaco at the end of the season, with a swoop for Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, who was on the scoresheet against Chelsea last night in the Champions League, on the cards.
Radamel Falcao's record over recent seasons speaks for itself - he is one of Europe's top strikers. However his rush to make it back from his knee injury for the World Cup could have done more damage than anyone could have expected. At the age of 29 he may have lost just that bit of extra sharpness he needs to be the best - and sadly that could be lost forever.
Is Falcao past it or could he still come good for Manchester United?
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