Should Chelsea Cancel Radamel Falcao’s Loan in January?


Source: The Bleacher Report

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When Radamel Falcao left Manchester United for Chelsea this summer, he might have thought he was upgrading. Situated in west London, playing for the champions and given another opportunity to prove himself—his second English loan spell was earmarked for success.

The Premier League has not been too obliging.

Chelsea are 15th in the table and displaying their worst domestic form since 2012/13—which saw the club sack Roberto Di Matteo for Rafa Benitez during a seven-match winless streak.

Current manager Jose Mourinho has kept his job, despite mounting pressure, but those truly feeling the brunt of Chelsea’s struggles are players on the fringes of relevance.

Falcao’s presence in the Blues’ setup has done the team few favours. Starting two games in all competitions, appearing eight other times from the bench, the 29-year-old has scored just once—in a losing effort vs. Crystal Palace—in 300 minutes of action.

Possibly to his credit, Chelsea’s other option are not exactly thriving.

Diego Costa has played 766 more minutes in all competitions than the Colombian and scored just three goals. Loic Remy—in a more comparative situation to Falcao—has found the net twice in 350 minutes.

On loan from AS Monaco, Falcao, of the three, looks the easiest to remove. John Cross of the Daily Mirror suggests, for example, Serie A side Fiorentina are “chasing” the 29-year-old, with any deal needing clearance from his parent club.

Joining the principality side before 2013/14—with pit stops at FC Porto(2009-11) and Atletico Madrid (2011-13)—Falcao was simply prolific; he scored 155 goals in 199 matches over five seasons.

The Colombian was, arguably, Europe’s best striker at one point, but those times have dissipated.

Undone by an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered in Ligue 1 in January 2014, his career has never rebounded.

Chelsea have made it their aim to be prudent since Mourinho’s re-arrival in 2013—neither chasing lost causes nor outbidding themselves. Complying with UEFA’s financial fair play regulations has seen only logical options enter the Stamford Bridge fold.

On the down slope of his career, the Colombian was a risk-adverse signing for the Blues and made business sense as a Didier Drogba replacement. Footballing sense, though, is a different proposition.

Struggling to find form, Chelsea are handcuffing themselves. They have at least two exceptionally talented young strikers on their books, Patrick Bamford (22) and Dominic Solanke (18), who are begging for first-team Chelsea minutes, but are on loan.

Drogba, in 2014/15, was essentially a player-coach. He was able to filter Mourinho’s brash personality, giving Chelsea’s dressing room a semblance of levity. The Ivorian, who, likewise, stymied the development of younger players, served a greater propose in terms of team chemistry—resulting in two trophies.

Falcao does not have Drogba’s infectious charisma, nor his lasting connection to Chelsea Football Club. Therefore, his presence only serves to slow the development of those who need experience, especially when his goalscoring rate (not to be divorced from Costa and Remy) is grossly below par.

ESPN FC reported Chelsea are considering recalling Bamford from his Crystal Palace loan, which has become a source of consternation. This could be to find another club, but might also serve as warning to Falcao.

It is plausible the Colombian could leave, and Chelsea use the 22-year-old Englishman as their third striker, rather than spending upwards of £20 million on another replacement.

Championship Player of the Year with Middlesbrough last season, Bamford appears to have more striking prowess available than the 29-year-old veteran. Furthermore, seeing young talent in the Blues squad would certainly liven a generally solemn Stamford Bridge.

To answer our title question: Yes, Chelsea should end Falcao’s loan in January.

There seems no reason to extend an obvious mismatch, but when does football do common sense?