Rene Meulensteen has raised his concerns over the fitness of Radamel Falcao and whether he is capable of playing at the same level he did prior to his cruciate ligament injury.
Falcao was unable to return from injury in time to play for Colombia in the World Cup but has since played for both Monaco and Colombia after over six months of rehabilitation.
Despite that, Meulensteen feels there is reason to be concerned. Speaking to talkSPORT, Meulensteen said: “Obviously Falcao has been excellent and is a world class striker, but the only reservation you have to have with him is, is he still, because of his recent injuries, going to be able to produce that same level as we all know he’s capable of?”
Falcao himself has spoken out about his injuries and how he is currently feels and is completely confident within himself that he is able to return to his best: “I’m excited about being able to join Manchester United. I hope to score a lot of goals for them —that is something I have done everywhere I have played.
“Because of the injury I felt so nervous before this game, almost like it was my first time with the national team. I expect it will be the same before I play my first game for United.
“Physically I feel spectacular. I have been able to play without any kind of trouble whatever. Throughout my rehab people have given me so much support and sent me so many kind messages. I want to thank them by giving them as much happiness as possible. As time passes and I get into game shape, I believe I will show I’m still at the top level.”
Meulensteen’s point is something which all United fans have thought about but the reason United unveiled Falcao at 1.30am after the deadline had passed was no doubt because the club doctors made sure Falcao underwent as stringent a medical as possible. The club wouldn’t have signed him without assurances of his fitness.
Of course, United have the safety net that Falcao has only joined on a one year loan deal so the risk is minimised. If Falcao’s injury does flare up again repeatedly, the club would back out of any deal to buy him.
What players like Ruud van Nistelrooy showed is that serious injuries can be overcome and United fans are hoping Falcao’s will fall in that same bracket.