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With Radamel Falcao, can Manchester United challenge for the Premier League?

Sep 2, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

With the transfer window shut and Manchester United the biggest spenders on the globe, what next?

The Red Devils have brought in six players for upwards of $250 million in transfer fees alone. That’s not including the astronomical wages dished out to superstars Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao, as their incredible outlay and faith in new manager Louis van Gaal was proven beyond all doubt after a summer of expensive acquisitions.

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Many are worried United didn’t strengthen defensively and will be suspect at the back, but with the attacking options they now possess, the Red Devils could silence the doubters.

One man’s arrival on Deadline Day was crucial: Radamel Falcao.

The Colombian striker sealed a season-long loan deal on Monday, which can be turned into a permanent deal for a reported $80 million at the end of the season, as the club have gone back to their attacking core to gain success. The message is clear: we will score more goals than you.

With Falcao on board — he has scored 155 goals in his last 200 games in European club soccer across three different leagues — the swashbuckling ways of Sir Alex Ferguson will return as the defense-first mantra deployed last season will go out of the window. Van Gaal finally has a group of players that are his and he will play to their strengths after assembling them. That overwhelming strength is: attack, attack, attack,

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In all, 17 players left Manchester United this summer as a long-awaited gutting of the squad took placer under LVG’s stewardship. The message is clear: quality over quantity.

source: Reuters

El Tigre was the final piece of the jigsaw in United’s record-breaking shopping spree.

With no European soccer, or League Cup for that matter, to worry about in the next four months until January, the sole purpose is on one game a week in the Premier League. Getting back into the top four and securing UCL qualification is the aim and somehow (probably, the money) van Gaal has managed to persuade the likes of Di Maria and Falcao to join United’s renaissance. Cash aside, his influence in these two signing should not be overlooked. Getting these big name players through the door was a big part of why van Gaal was brought in as manager after David Moyes struggled to sell the club to new players all of last season.

Falcao was the cherry on top of an expensively assembled ice cream sundae.

Without him, LVG’s plan may have fallen flat on its face. With him, well, they may just have a chance. To start the season Rooney has looked out of sorts up top, van Persie is increasingly injury prone and both Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck left on Deadline Day. All of that leads the way for one man to shine. The man they call El Tigre.

With Di Maria, Adnan Januzaj, Juan Mata and Rooney supplying him the ammunition, Falcao’s job in simple: stick the ball in the back of the net. Ruud van Nistleerooy’s job was exactly the same at Old Trafford and he had the likes of Ryan Giggs and David Beckham feeding him crosses and through balls to finish. Falcao may not have those two around, but the attackers and wingers the Red Devils possess now will provide him with plenty of opportunities to score. If this plan comes off, United might not be hoping for just a top four finish this campaign. With no other distractions and a long-stretch ahead of just PL games, United could surprise everyone just like Liverpool did last season.

Falcao was the final piece of the jigsaw, as we can all start to judge van Gaal’s Manchester United… now.

  1. medic0nduty - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Unless they strengthen the defense and midfield in January, not a chance, and even then the league might be out of sight. Offense alone won’t win you silverware; just ask Liverpool about last season.

    • humboldtparkrangers - Sep 2, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      I actually did ask them and they said you are wrong

      • medic0nduty - Sep 2, 2014 at 6:36 PM

        Their trophy cabinet agrees with me.

  2. footballer4ever - Sep 2, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    I am a Manchester United Fan, but i believe it will take at least one full PL season to blend in all players under the new regime or else ask the Miami Heat what they went thru before starting to win anything. Again, football and basketball are different sports but a collection of higg profile names is not just enough, but the chemistry developed among them.

    • lordfletcher - Sep 2, 2014 at 5:47 PM

      Miami went to the finals every year with James… just saying… hard to hate on that.

      • footballer4ever - Sep 4, 2014 at 11:55 PM

        Making it to the finals is one thing, but winning just 2 out of 4 is not good enough, but guess it was good enough to get the orangutan off Lebron’s back and to satisfy him of title winning that he’s happy to go back “home” . *chuckles*

  3. Mr. No Days Off - Sep 2, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    I am a Manchester United fan and I think LVG and Woodward have gotten this transfer window completely wrong. The additions of Di Maria and Falcao are big names, but they are additions to an already crowded attack. This United team needs additions to the midfield and defense in order to compete for the premier league title. LVG has left many United fans scratching their heads about this transfer strategy and how all these players will fit into his tactics. Right now there are a lot more questions than answers and I think we will definitely see more activity in the January window.

    • Ian's Rushtache - Sep 2, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      You can’t be a United fan. You speak humbly and rationally, two traits notably absent from United fans.

    • lordfletcher - Sep 2, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      Mid fielders were added in Herrera and Blind, tho Blind may play a CB role depending on formation. LVG and Woodward I guarantee you tried hard to sign a quality CB but couldn’t as Hummel’s wasn’t for sale and Benatia went to FC. Di Maria can play multiple roles as a world class player. Falcao is added to score goals that have been lacking and RVP is injured, possibly out till December… Two world class players were added and we are complaining?
      You can’t sign everyone in one window and top CB’s rarely get moved. Jesus I don’t get how any MUFC fan can hate this window and what has transpired. This roster is stacked but needs another mid and CB no doubt, in due time. Give the squad time and let’s see what happens. Top 3 talent in the BPL on paper… Let’s see what they can do

      I mean Shaw, Herrera, Rojo, Di Maria, Blind and Falcao… if asked at the beginning of the window if you’d be happy or mad with this, no one would have been mad, unless you don’t like Man Utd. January will likely bring Strootman or name your mid and possibly Varane ????? who knows but its exciting

    • geejon - Sep 2, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      You’re absolutely right Mr. No Days Off. This is not the first time this particular writer said something that ridiculous. He’s either delusional, unfit to be writing about the sport, or trolling for replies. It can only be 1 of the 3. For someone to suggest this team might have a shot at winning the League is so ridiculous, it’s beyond comprehension.

      (and btw I am also a United fan).

      No one has any idea what formation this team will be playing and how long it will take for the players to take to it, if they ever do, yet this writer is spouting off about top 4 and such rattling off the names like we’re talking about fantasy football and not the real world type. In the real world, nonsense like a diamond formation would never fly with this team because their midfield would get overrun and destroyed. Falcao is not the “final piece of jigsaw” as he stated. This team needs several more players to come in (and possibly more going out (Mata?) in January and then we’ll see what we’re working with.

  4. Jarred Alexandrov - Sep 2, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    Another United fan here. I like the moves. As this blog describes, it will be DiMaria, Januzaj etc feeding Falcao all day long. IF healthy that should work out just fine.

  5. acorp11 - Sep 2, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    Risky moves, if they miss out on top-4 this year then di Maria and Falcao (and more?) will move on next summer. No way they’ll miss out on another champions league campaign.

  6. navyeoddavee9 - Sep 2, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    lordetcher: that comparison is one of the worst, I’ve ever heard. United will, I think, get better as the season progresses, but Title contenders, I would say not, this season, I don’t even see a top four, Europa League, maybe

    • lordfletcher - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      What in the crap are you talkiging about. I made no comparison’s. I was pointing out that a comparison of Miami Heat and Man Utd doesn’t make any sense as they went to the finals every year with Lebron.

      ???

  7. navyeoddavee9 - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:07 AM

    You state you made no comparison and then you state you did make a comparison, and I still say it’s a lousy comparison

  8. scrummymustard - Sep 3, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    Am I the only one in the please don’t play Adnan camp? He isn’t ready to contribute meaningful minutes. The fact that he was playing over Kagawa last year is a travesty.

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