Claudio Ranieri has sensationally claimed that Radamel Falcao is well suited to the Premier League, despite a disappointing return of just four goals in 26 appearances during his season-long loan spell at Manchester United.
The former Chelsea manager - who coached the Colombian marksman during his time in charge of AS Monaco - believes the 29-year-old will perform much better in England's top-flight next season if he is presented with an opportunity to do so.
It doesn't look like that will be possible at Old Trafford in 2015/16 as Louis van Gaal considers alternative attacking options for the Red Devils next campaign following an entirely underwhelming contribution from the former FC Porto and Atletico Madrid talisman.
Falcao was once regarded as one of the most lethal finishers in world football, but he's struggled to rediscover his best form since recovering from the anterior cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered in Ligue 1 in 2014, which consequently ruled him out of the World Cup in Brazil last summer.
Despite a promising pre-season and start to the 2014/15 campaign at Stade Louis II the South American has looked a shadow of his former self since joining Manchester United, and that's why Ranieri's assessment of Falcao is even more puzzling.
Asked why he felt the player has struggled to score goals this term, the veteran Italian coach admitted it was a complete mystery to him, especially having worked so closely with the Colombia international in the past.
“It is very strange, very strange because Falcao is fantastic in the box,” he is quoted by Here Is The City from an interview with Sky Sports. “He had a very bad knee injury last season, and maybe it is difficult to react immediately.
“He is not a creative player. His job is to score. He smells goals. I think next season will be much better. I think the Premier League suits him.”
With Manchester United's option to purchase Falcao permanently standing at a staggering £47 million it will be no surprise at all to see Van Gaal turn down the club's option to negotiate a deal, particularly when you consider how shot-shy the predator has been this season.
Against Arsenal last Sunday from the player's point of view it certainly looked like the Monaco loanee knew his days at Old Trafford were numbered after waving goodbye to the Red Devils supporters when he was replaced by Robin van Persie after an hour.
A couple of days later he posted a message on Twitter to thank the fans for their "incredible support", having stood by him for the entire campaign, which gave another indication he knows he won't be returning to Manchester United next season.
Manchester United fans: Do you agree with Claudio Ranieri that Radamel Falcao is suited to the Premier League? Share your thoughts in the comment box below...
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