Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has openly acknowledged his admiration for Radamel Falcao despite a lacklustre and, often times, turbulent, year at rivals Manchester United last season. The Special One believes he can get the best out of the Colombian who has never returned to the form of 2012 which seen him earmarked as one of the most prolific forwards in European football. Last term, in what was Louis van Gaal’s first season in charge at Old Trafford, there never appeared to be a distinct belief from the Dutchman that Falcao would reproduce that form and drive United to the title. Perhaps, with the confidence of being the title-holders, the Blues can take a chance on the Colombian whereas United must get it right this window if they are to challenge. If the gamble were to come good, Mourinho would also surely take pride in getting one over on their rivals, and that could provide extra motivation. If Falcao is to find form he needs a manager with the belief to back him and the desire to see him come good and prove the doubters wrong. In Mourinho, it appears, he has exactly that.
A beneficial factor for Falcao this term will be the stability being at Chelsea can offer. As defending Premier League champions and with a squad that requires little added investment and has the capacity to challenge on all fronts, Chelsea are far from a side in transition; that which Falcao found at Old Trafford last term where the team rarely remained unchanged for long and often found Wayne Rooney, at other times Falcao’s strike partner, playing deep in centre midfield. Rather, the Blues will likely have few changes from the side that was by a distance the most consistent team in the league last season. At the same time, with European and domestic cup football, there are plenty of games for Falcao to get his opportunities within Mourinho’s rotation system that seen both Loïc Rémy and Didier Drogba get games, and goals, last term. Crucially, the Colombian can go into the season with a much more comfortable knowledge of what to expect in terms of both the system he will be employed within and the talent playing alongside him.
More importantly there is considerable talent at the disposal of Mourinho, both behind and alongside Falcao that outshines that which Van Gaal had to work with last season. With a supply line including the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard there will be plenty of goal-scoring chances laid on a plate for Falcao when his playing opportunities do arise. Last term, a prevalent criticism of United’s attack was a lack of pace, particularly in the first half of the season but at Chelsea they have no such problems. That will create space for Falcao to flourish, as it has done for Diego Costa. Add-to-that the fact that Falcao and Costa have a history of playing together at Atletico Madrid, including a game paired up-front when defeating Real Madrid in the 2013 Copa Del Rey final, and all the ingredients are there for Falcao to find his feet again.
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