Louis van Gaal has made it clear he is looking at more than just goals with Radamel Falcao when it comes to deciding whether to offer him a permanent contract with Manchester United.
Falcao joined Man United on a one-year loan deal in the summer which means he’ll be leaving Old Trafford unless van Gaal decides to sign him on a long-term deal.
A lower than expected return of four goals and four assists in 11 appearances has understandably led to plenty of questions over whether, at this stage, he deserves a contract.
However, when discussing his future, van Gaal made it clear he would be looking at Falcao’s all-round game and won’t simply judge him on how many goals he has scored.
“I shall not only judge on the goals. It is a bigger view than that,” said van Gaal.
“There are more aspects for a striker, an assist is an aspect and being available on the pitch for your fellow players is also an aspect.
“You have seen the header back for Chris Smalling (for United’s opening goal against Burnley on Wednesday night) was from Falcao.”
Although Falcao’s movement has been somewhat muted in the last few matches, his general application has been gradually improving and he certainly is more active than Robin van Persie.
A top class striker is more than just a goalscorer in modern football so it’s not a surprise to hear van Gaal will take that into consideration and for Falcao it will give him even more reason to keep working hard to prove himself.
Falcao might have lost his form but class is permanent and you still get the feeling if he can just get a couple of goals in succession, that the floodgates could open. For Falcao’s sake, he’ll need that to happen sooner rather than later with March fast approaching.