Falcao concedes injury-prone start has hurt his chances at Manchester United

The striker, who cost Monaco £52m when they signed him from Atletico Madrid 18 months ago, admitted he would prefer to play more, but is willing to be patient.
Manchester United’s Radamel Falcao is aware that he has got limited time on the field but the striker remains optimistic. Oli Scarff / AFP
Manchester United’s Radamel Falcao is aware that he has got limited time on the field but the striker remains optimistic. Oli Scarff / AFP

Radamel Falcao would love to stay at Manchester United but acknowledged a permanent move to Old Trafford is likely to depend on how much he plays.

United thought they had pulled off a major coup by signing Falcao from Monaco on deadline day, but so far the Colombian has not lived up to his star billing.

Thanks partly to injury, Falcao has struggled to find form and has scored just once in 11 appearances. Despite his struggles, Falcao is keen for United to exercise their option to buy him for £43.5 million (Dh250.9m).

The former Porto striker conceded his chances of remaining at Old Trafford hinge partly on the amount of playing time he gets for the remainder of the campaign.

“I am very happy in this city, in this club and I am enjoying it here. I really want to stay,” the United striker said.

“From my point of view, I’d like to carry on but obviously I have to analyse the situation, see if I play more and see what decision the board takes.”

Falcao has not started a game since he scored his only goal against Everton on October 5.

A calf injury ruled the player out for a month but since he returned he has made three brief appearances off the bench, the latest one being a 12-minute cameo in the 3-0 win over Liverpool, which kept United third in the table.

The striker, who cost Monaco £52m when they signed him from Atletico Madrid 18 months ago, admitted he would prefer to play more, but is willing to be patient.

“Every footballer wants to play, no one is happy when they are not playing, when they are on the bench, but whenever I am given the opportunity, whether it be for five, 10, 20 or 90 minutes, I have to give my best,” he said.

“I feel ready for the moment that the team needs me. Whenever I have the opportunity to come on I try to do my best for the coach and I try to help the team.”

When asked whether he had spoken to manager Louis van Gaal about his lack of playing time, Falcao said: “We talk a lot.

“He has a philosophy that I respect. I have had an injury and I have had to wait for the opportunity to play.

“I am not playing many minutes at the moment but I am sure that there will more opportunities to play.”

The professional way in which Falcao has dealt with not being part of the first team has brought praise from teammate Juan Mata, who has also struggled to hold down a place in Van Gaal’s starting XI.

“He is training very well, he is waiting for his opportunity like the great professional he is, like the great teammate he is,” the United midfielder said.

Robin van Persie has scored four goals in his last four games and Wayne Rooney is starting to show good form while Van Gaal has shown a lot of faith in 19-year-old forward James Wilson.

Falcao acknowledges he faces tough competition to earn a regular starting berth.

“We have a group of strikers who are very good and that’s good for everyone,” he said.

“That means there is always a level of competition between us, healthy competition, and obviously I am very happy with how the team is doing.”

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Published: December 18, 2014 04:00 AM

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